Thimphu Festival Tour
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Kora Tsechu (arrive Paro, Depart Paro)
Kora Tsechu (arrive Paro, exit India)
Kora Tsechu (arrive India, exit Paro)
| Gom Kora Tsechu
(enter Paro, exit Paro) | Gom
Kora Tsechu (enter Paro, exit India)
| Gom Kora Tsechu (enter India, exit Paro)
| Paro Tsechu
Festival Tour | Paro
Tsechu Festival 7 Dzongkhags Tour
Tsechu Festival Tour with Druk Path Trek
Yakchoe Festival Tour ]
Gomphu Kora (Gom Kora) Festival
(Enter Assam India by Road Exit Paro
- 12 Nights 13 Days)
- Trashiyangtse, Eastern Bhutan
Samdrup Jongkhar, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Gomkora, Mongar, Bumthang,
Trongsa, Wangduephodrang, Punakha, Thimphu & Paro.
Bird's Eye View of Gom Kora Lhakhang (Temple) complex
Duration: 12 Nights 13
Package Trip Cost: US$ 2800 per person.
Trip Grade: Easy.
Festival Dates: April
Day 1: Guwahati (India) – Samdrup
Day 2: Samdrup Jongkhar – Trashigang
Day 3: Trashigang – Radhi/Phongmey (Day Excursion)
Day 4: Trashigang – Trashiyangtse
Day 5: Gom Kora Festival
Day 6: Gom Kora – Mongar
Day 7: Mongar – Bumthang
Day 8: Bumthang Sightseeing
Day 9: Bumthang – Punakha
Day 10: Punakha - Thimphu
Day 11: Thimphu sightseeing
Day 12: Thimphu - Paro
Day 13: Paro Departure
Located 32 km from Trashiyangtse and
2 km from Doksum is one of the Bhutan's sacred places blessed by Guru
Rinpoche. It falls under Tongshang Gewog of Trashiyangtse and is situated
near to the Trashiyangtse-Trashigang highway. Gom Kora (seen above)
is also known as Gomphu Kora: "Gomphu" meaning meditation
site of Guru Rimpoche (Gom-mediation and Phu-Cave) and "Kora"
In order to honour Guru Rinpoche, people,
mostly from eastern Bhutan such as Brokpa, Sharchokpa, Kurtoep and some
people of central and western Bhutan as well as people from Aurnachal
Pradesh gather to celebrate Gom Kora Tsechu. During the Tsechu people
get together, sing and dance their own tune and some young as well as
old men and women, especially in the evening, Gom Kora Tsechu is not only
famous as a festival but also as one of the pilgrimage places. It is also
a very famous time and place for young people to meet their lover.Circumambulate
around the Lhakhang in search of their partner for the night and if they
get their partner they vanish into the dark, nearby and play the game
of love- there will be no one to question you whatever happens.
During the festival, you are free to
do anything and any game which can be played between a male and a female
in the night while making rounds of the Lhakhang & the big rock is
played. It also provides you with an opportunity to meet the Brokpas,
the nomadic people from the far eastern part of Bhutan.
The Legend of Gom Kora- The Visit of Guru Rinpoche to
Gomphu Kora is a site where Guru Rinpoche subdued the
demon and legend has its story that Guru Rinpoche meditated in the Gomphu
Kora Rock for Three months. Some say Guru meditated three days at Gomphu
Kora and Three Months at Kapalihu. No books or sources are available and
so cannot be ascertained for sure. It is possible that the documents of
Gom Kora may be available with some of the people of Tawang. The document/manuscript
of Gom Kora got burnt when the residence of the caretaker caught fire.
The Demon, Mongkhapa, locally known as Sewang Nagpo
escaped from Tibet Samye (where the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet
was built) during Guru's visit to Tibet following through Tawang and through
Doksum and on reaching Gom Kora, he stopped fleeing further and took a
hiding place near the river in the Black Big Stone. (It is also said that
the Demon was called Gyenen Chophel alias Yonglha who was a classmate
of Guru Rinpoche at Nalanda University who attained high level spiritual
powers which took the Guru a long time to subdue.Yonglha was misled and
he followed the wrong path and thus went against the Buddha Dharma.)
is said that when the Guru was meditating near the stone the Demon attempted
various tricks to escape from there and showed all demonic manifestations
which even pierced the rock from the inside and made his way underground
and even scared away Guru Rinpoche. Thus we can still see the Print
of the Guru's Hand (left) in the entrance to the Rock. The demon's
manifestation and power included piercing of the Rock and transformation
of himself into a ferocious snake raised like a Cobra. Guru Rinpoche transformed
himself to a Garuda (a large mythical Bird/Eagle-like creature) and tamed
the Demon. The imprint of the snake can be seen on the exterior of the
rock. From there the Demon escaped peircing through the rock and in the
early days the demon made his way underground from the rock to the nearby
river. It is said that later the underground tunnel was blocked for whichever
people who went into the tunnel. Guru Rinpoche blessed the tunnel and
transformed it into a sacred tunnel and whichever people enters this tunnel
his or her sins are cleansed. The tunnel especially the exit is very narrow.
According to the Legend it is said that the Demon escaped from the Gom
Kora cave and then it was subdued forever in the stone cave and elevated
as the protector of Gom Kora after reaching Tsergom, 3 kms from the Cave.
We can still see the seal of oath at the Tsergom cave as a red seal of
the Guru. Sometimes it is said that devotees who visit the Tsergom cave
with faith and devotion can see the image of the Guru in the Thumbprint
on the stone.
some people believe that the Gom Kora Demon and the Tsergom Demon are
different. And due to the absence of written text/manuscripts it is not
sure whether they were the same or different. The entrance to
the Stone Tunnel (seen right) can be found to
the North Part of the Rock. And the exit from a different hole.
While Guru Rinpoche was residing at
Gom Kora the Tibetan King, Thrisong Deutsen became seriously ill and bedridden.
The message was sent to Guru who then sent his Disciple Atsara Salaioo
to Meratika in Nepal to get the Tshebum. When his disciple returned from
Nepal to Gom Kora with the Tshebum, the King passed away. The Tshebum
brought from Meritaka was then concealed inside the rock as gTer and the
Guru meditated for three days. During Auspicious days we can still see
the drupchu/holy water coming out of the rock as holy water coming out
from hidden gTer, Tshebum.Some artifacts like statue of Buddha, Dragons
Egg, Dhamze Rilbu, Guru's footprint, Trangtring(small hand drum) of Guru,
Guru's Pony and Footprint of Gurus Khandro can be seen at Gom Kora Lhakhang.
The Gom Kora Festival:
A Famous festival of the east, Gomkora
or Gomphukora is celebrated on the Tenth day of the Bhutanese Second Month.
The festival which draws people from all over Bhutan began 400 years ago
after the Lhakhang was built by Lam Ngagi Wangchuk. The practise of wooing
and marriage still previals during this three-day Festival. Right after
the Chorten Kora festival, people go down for the Gom Kora festival including
people from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Businessmen and all types
of people from all over has made Gomphukora Tshechu one of the most famous
Festivals in Eastern Bhutan. As most people gather for the festival the
business ventures during this festival runs good. Grocery, clothes sales,
restaurants, gambling stalls, health exibitions,etc can be seen during
these festival. Of the many places visited by Guru Rinpoche, Gom Kora
is one of the most blessed sacred sites. Other places where the Guru visited
are unknown to us or lost to us. Pilgrims and devotees who visit and pay
homage where Guru Rinpoche has resided is a key and seed to liberation.
Visiting sacred sites of Guru with faith and devotion would bless the
devotee and fulfil his or her wishes and will be able to attain liberation
from samsara (cycle of rebirth).
Note: Entry and Exit can both
be from Paro. One port has to be Paro however. Both cannot be Guawhati,
Day 01: Guwahati (India) –
Samdrup Jongkhar (Bhutan)
At Guwahati International Airport, you
will be received by the representative of Bhutan Rebirth Tours & Treks–
for your Bhutan Experience. After meeting the guide and driver, we will
drive to one of the restaurants in Guwahati for lunch and then we will
drive to Samdrup Jongkhar. We will stop on the way for restroom and also
for Indian Immigration. At Bhutan gate at Samdrup Jongkhar, we have to
complete the immigration formalities, where our guide will assist you.
Then we will check into the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at Samdrup
Jongkhar Hotel .
Day 02: Samdrup Jongkhar –
After an early breakfast, we will drive
to Trashigang. The drive will take about 7 hours through tropical and
sub-tropical forests. Lunch will be served as a picnic lunch. Continue
our journey to Trashigang. On reaching Khaling, we will visit Khaling
Handloom Centre and at Kanglung we will visit Kanglung Zangtopleri. Dinner
and overnight stay at Trashigang Hotel.
Day 03: Trashigang – Radhi/Phongmey
Today we will make a day excursion to
Radhi/Phongmey Village with picnic lunch. We will be visiting the Rangjung
Yozerchholing Lhakhang and Khardung Anim Dratshang (nunnery where young
girls and women are perusing religious goals). In both the lhakhangs,
photographs are allowed. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight stay
at Trashigang Hotel.
Day 04: Trashigang – Trashiyangtse
Today we will visit Trashiyangtse district,
visit Chorten Kora, the old Trashiyangtse Dzong with picnic lunch. Today
overnight will be at Gom Kora either camping or at hotel. After our early
dinner we will visit Gom Kora Lhakhang, where we will see people circumbulating
the Lhakhang and the big rock with recitation or prayers and some even
singing. You will enjoy the scene very much besides getting blessing for
visiting these very important religious sites in the Buddhism world.
A Child seems to plead to the Gods at the festival...
05: Gom Kora Festival
Enjoy whole day at the festival. At
right, crowds at the festival.
Dinner and overnight stay at Gomkora (Hotel/Camp)
Day 06: Gom Kora – Mongar
After our breakfast, we will drive to
Mongar. The drive will take about 3 hours. On the way we will visit Drametse
Lhakhang and Tashichhoepheling Lhakhang at Ngatshang. Here we will see
the monks living areas etc. Lunch will be served as a picnic lunch. On
reaching Mongar, we will visit Mongar Dzong and evening stroll around
Mongar town. Dinner and overnight stay at Mongar hotel.
Day 07: Mongar – Bumthang
We will drive to Bumthang (Central Bhutan)
with picnic lunch. At Ura, we will visit Ura Lhakhang and at Tang, we
will visit Mebartsho (burning lake). Dinner and overnight stay at Bumthang
Day 08: Bumthang Sightseeing
Today we will do sightseeing in Bumthang
valley- visit Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang and
Jakar Dzong. Lunch will be served at Bumthang Hotel. Then we will visit
Cheese factory and Honey production centre. Towards evening we will visit
Bhutanese Farm House for dinner, Hot Stone bath and we can also arrange
overnight stay in a Farmhouse. You will have a great experience with the
Day 09: Bumthang – Punakha
We will drive to Punakha. The drive
will take about 7 hours.at Trongsa, we will visit 'Tower of Trongsa',
and then continue our journey to Punakha. Lunch will be served at Chendebji
Resturant. After lunch we will walk from the restaurant till Chendebji
Chhorten. On reaching Wangduephodrang, we will visit the remains of Wangdue
Dzong which was burnt down in 2012. Renovation, however, is underway.
Dinner and overnight stay at Punakha/Wangdue Hotel.
10: Punakha- Thimphu
Drive till the view point of Khamsum
Yule Namgyel Chorten (see left) at Kabesa Village and then visit Punakha
Dzong, the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. At Lobesa, we will hike to
Chhimi Lhakhang, the Temple of Fertility. The hike will take about 30
minutes through farm terraced fields. Lunch will be served at the Chhimi
Lhakhang cafeteria. Then we will continue our journey to Thimphu, the
capital city of Bhutan. Stroll around Thimphu town. If interested we will
see night life in the capital of Bhutan after dinner. Dinner and
overnight stay at Thimphu hotel.
Day 11: Thimphu sightseeing
Today we will do sightseeing in Thimphu
- visit Memorial Chhorten, Changangkha Lhakhang, Mothithang mini zoo to
see the National Animal of Bhutan (Takin), Zilukha Nunnery, Folk Heritage
Museum and National Library. Lunch in Thimphu town. Also visit Paper Factory,
Weaving Centre and then Handicrafts Emporium. Evening at Leisure. Dinner
and overnight stay at Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 12: Thimphu - Paro
Drive to Paro and hike to Taktsang Monastery,
which is one of the most important pilgrimage and sacred sites in the
Buddhism world. The hike will take about 2 hours up a steep hill and about
1hour 30 minutes on our way back. Lunch will be served at the Taktsang
Cafteria. On our way back to the hotel, we will visit Drugyal Dzong, which
is in ruins and the Kyichu Lhakhang, which is one of the oldest temples
in Bhutan. Dinner and overnight stay in Paro Hotel.
Day 13: Depart from Paro
Today we will drive to Paro International
Airport to catch the flight to your next destination. Our guide and driver
will bid you farewell and we wish you a safe and pleasant journey back
home and hope to see you again in Bhutan.
Note: The above
itinerary is just a sample itinerary intended to give you a general idea
of Gom Kora Festival entering from Samdrup Jongkhar in South Eastern Bhutan
and exiting from Paro, Western Bhutan. We can always customise and tailor
an itinerary to suit your requirements and interests. You can contact
us through the Contact
Page or through the email given below.