The Annual Black-necked Crane Festival is a one-day event celebrated at Phobjikha valley in Wangdue Phodrang District in Central Bhutan each year. Phobjikha valley is the largest winter habitat of Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan, with approximately 300 individuals each year. This famous festival is organized by the Gangtey-Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (GPEMC) composed of several local stakeholders. During the winter months, the Black-necked Cranes become part of the local people’s daily lives. The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of Black-necked Cranes, revered as the heavenly birds. The main aim of this festival is to aware people about the conservation of endangered Black‐necked Cranes.
By air: The best way to reach Phobjikha is to take a flight from your nearest airport to Paro International Airport. After reaching, you will get several hired taxies or cabs to reach Punakha.
By rail: The nearest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and from there, you can hire a cab or rent a car to reach Phobjikha.
By road: You can visit the district of Phodrang by traveling through numerous state buses which travel from the border of Phuentsholing.
Now, a few words on Phobjikha-
A sprawling wetland valley, it is regarded as the biggest wetland as well as the most delightful valley in Bhutan. As a part of the conservation effort, this gorgeous valley has been declared a protected area by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) and Phobjikha Environment Management Committee to built artificial roost for the safety of the cranes. It is known that even a slight movement of the water by the predators warns the cranes to fly for safety.
Black-Necked Crane- an eye-catching bird in Bhutan:
It is the most striking bird in Bhutan due to most of its body parts including the upper body and the head are totally black. The foreboding look is somewhat redressed by a small white patch to the rear of the eye and a red bald patch between the bill and the eye. On the other hand, younger ones have a dull yellowish colored head and black neck. Like mother, younger birds are also hearty eater and feed on grasshoppers, beetles, flies, earthworms, and shrimps, and even on bigger prey like lizards and frogs. When something that moves isn’t there for the taking, they do just fine on roots and tubers as well.
Some interesting facts about the Black-Necked Crane festival that you must know-
Black-Necked Crane festival is an event that holds a great significance for the villagers of Phobjikha. First held in 1998 at the initiative of the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN), the locals take great joy in the fact that these rare and endangered birds have found their valley good enough to honor them with their presence during the winter months. It is estimated that out of the about 500 cranes which migrate to Bhutan each winter, about 300 of them make Phobjikha valley their temporary home. The festival includes cultural programs such as folk songs, mask dances, crane dances performed by the local people.
More to explore in Phobjikha Valley-
Phobjikha valley gives something more to explore than Black-Necked-Cranes. It is also home to a host of vulnerable species such as the Rufous-necked Hornbill, Chestnut-breasted Partridge mandellii, and Pallas’s Fish-eagle. In fact, the valley boasts a rich flora and fauna.
Choose the right travel agency for your comfortable trip-
If you are hunting for an ideal travel agency that can organize your trip in short a time at a budget-friendly rate, make us your first choice. Utkarsh Travels is the most reliable travel agency in Bhutan which arranges your trip in a much-customized fashion. The services provided by us include-
- Airport pick-up
- Hotel booking
- Exploring beautiful sightseeing places
- Providing delicious food
- Drop to airport for your onward journey to home
Q. What will be the starting-ending date of Black-Necked-Crane festival in Phobjikha, 2018?
A. Black-Necked-Crane festival is a 1-day event and will start on 11th November 2018 as well as it ends on the same date.
Q. Is there any permission needed to enjoy the Black-Necked-Crane festival in Phobjikha?
A. No, there is no need to take any permission to enjoy the Black-Necked-Crane festival in Phobjikha.
Q. Should we moderately dress up during exploring this huge festival?
A. Yes, you should moderately dress up during exploring this festival to show respect towards the culture and traditions of locales.