The Royal Highland Festival is an annual event that has its own vibrant charm in that it is organized in the village of Laya in Gasa at an elevation of 4000m. This unique festival aims to promote the sustainable livelihood of the Bhutanese highlanders and showcase the highlands as a pride of Bhutan. This monumental festival’s goal is to uphold the vision of ‘Good to Great Gasa’, a vision formulated by His Majesty the King of Bhutan.
Introduced on the 16th of October, 2016 to mark the celebration of the Royal Birth of His Royal Highness the Gyalsey, 400 years of Shabdrung Rinpoche and the birth year of Guru Rinpoche, the Royal Highland Festival has been instrumental in bringing together highlanders from different parts of Bhutan on a common platform to share valuable knowledge on the practices and skills related to the highlands and yak farming.
One of the highlights and the most sought after events of the Royal Highlander Festival is the famed Laya Run, a cross-country race starting at Ponjothang in Gasa and ending in Laya. Other highlights include cultural programs, various competitions on highland animals, traditional song and dance competitions and stalls selling highland and agricultural produce.
Experience the amazing highlands of Bhutan by being a part of this event, interact with the friendly locals and the occasional Bhutanese celebrity and if luck favors, you just might get a chance to have a close encounter with His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen who sometimes grace the occasion.