Punakha Tsechu and Drubchen
Venue: Punakha Dzong (Fortress) grounds
Visiting places: Paro, Thimphu, Wangduephodrang
Entry and Exit: Paro
One of the Kingdom’s most popular Tsechus held in the Majestic Punakha Dzong (Fortress), the highlight of this festival is the Drubchen, which precedes the Tsechu.
Punakha Drubchen tells the story of 17th century Bhutan, when the Bhutanese were under siege by Tibetan forces. Devoid of a standing army of its own, the duty to hold the Fort fell on the local militiamen called “Pazaps”, from the eight great villages (Tshogchens) of Thimphu. The invaders were routed.
To celebrate the victory, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal introduced the Punakha Drubchen. The 17th century scene is re-enacted during the Drubchen with local men dressed as “Pazaps”.
The Tsechu follows the Drubchen.