To participate in one of the world’s most remote and vibrant festivals, one must embark on a lengthy drive followed by a four-hour trek to revel in the festivities.
Bhutan’s Royal Highland Festival – A Cultural Celebration in the Heart of Laya set against the breathtaking backdrop of Laya, one of Bhutan’s northern settlements perched at 3,800m above sea level, the annual Royal Highland Festival is a vibrant celebration of Bhutan’s highland cultures.
Scheduled this year on October 23-24, the festival not only commemorates the unique way of life and rich cultural heritage of the Layap nomadic highland people but also serves as a vital initiative to promote and preserve their traditions. Join us in this cultural extravaganza, where heritage meets the Himalayas.
Gasa, a region adorned with Bhutan’s loftiest peaks and over a hundred glacial lakes feeding the nation’s rivers, including the iconic Phochu and Mochu, is a testament to nature’s grandeur.In the heart of this picturesque setting, the Layap people proudly exhibit their age-old customs and magnificent attire during the festival.
The event comes alive with vibrant cultural programs, featuring lively parades and engaging games starring yaks, horses, and majestic mastiffs, all adorned with meticulously crafted accessories. It’s a spectacle that captures the essence of Bhutan’s rich heritage against the backdrop of its breathtaking natural wonders.
Embarking on the festival journey is an adventure in itself, requiring travelers to endure a seven-hour drive from Thimphu to the Tongshida base camp, followed by a four-hour hike to reach the enchanting village of Laya.