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Popular religious festival or Tshechu in Bhutan - Chhorten Kora festival

Chhorten Kora - Popular Festivals in Bhutan

The Chorten Kora Festival is one of the most popular events in eastern Bhutan. ‘Kora’ means circumambulation and the main activity of this festival is circumambulating the Chorten Kora. The Chorten (Stupa) was built by Lama Ngawang Loday in 1740, to the memory of his late uncle, Jungshu Pesan on the site where a demon was subdued. It is believed to be a replica of the Boudhnath stupa in Nepal and was consecrated by the 13th chief Abbot of Bhutan, Je Sherub Wangchuk. Today, it is considered one of the most important historical Buddhist structures.


As per historical records, the chorten was built so that pilgrims could visit the temple in Trashiyangtse instead of making a trip all the way to Nepal. Also, a legend states that a young girl from Tawang from Arunachal Pradesh (India), believed to have been a Khando (Dakini) agreed to be buried alive inside the Chorten. For this reason, a ritual known as Dakpa Kora is organized every year where hundreds of people from Arunachal Pradesh known as the Dakpas make it to Chorten Kora to circumambulate.

Apart from locals, this festival also attracts people from the neighboring Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and brings out colorful aspects of Bhutanese culture such as mask dances, the rich textiles and brocades worn by the locals amidst the triumphant atmosphere of the festival itself.

Dakpa Kora is held on the 15th day of the 3rd month corresponding to 28th February and Drukpa Kora (circumambulation by the Bhutanese) is held on the 30th day corresponding to 15th March every year.


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