Chorten Kora 1

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The Chorten Kora festival is one of eastern Bhutan’s oldest religious festivals, held annually at Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse.

Namgang Kora (circumambulating the Chorten on the last day of the auspicious first month) is preceded by Tse-Chenga Kora, a similar celebration on the 15th day of the first month of the Bhutanese calendar. The tradition of circumambulation began after the present chorten was built by Lam Ngawang Lodey, the nephew of the 13th Je Khenpo, His Holiness Yonten Thaye (1771-1775). The physical structure of the chorten was copied from the Bodi Chorten in Nepal.

Once a deeply spiritual tradition, the event today is somewhat diluted. Devotees from Tawang in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh used to join their Bhutanese counterparts in the Namgang Kora, but due to COVID restrictions, Dakpe or Monpa from Arunachal have been kept away. Many shops are set up in huts and tents, and Chorten Kora appears more like a bustling fair than a spiritual venue. Food and game stalls, cloth showrooms, video parlors, and diverse wares, both locally made and imported, line the way to the Chorten. According to legend, while the construction of the chorten reached its dome, a girl of eight years old, believed to be an angel from Tawang, volunteered to enter the dome and be buried. On account of this incident, the 15th day of the first Bhutanese month is also called the Dakpe Kora (circumambulation by the Dakpas from Tawang), and the 30th day is called the Namgang Kora or the Drukpe Kora (circumambulation by the Bhutanese). Unlike other religious festivals, which feature mask dance performances, Chorten Kora is a festival for circumambulating the chorten.

Festival NamePlaceFromTo
Chorten Kora 1TashiyangtseMar 14, 20251 Day
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