Chorten Kora Festival

One of the most ancient festivals in the whole of Bhutan is held in Trashiyangtse, popularly known as Chorten Cora and Gom Cora (Cora means circumambulating a temple or a stupa).  Old and young make rounds of the stupa and temples to earn merit and good health. In olden times Trashiyangtse was the gateway between Tibet and the neighboring Indian states, via Arunachal Pradesh. Combined with legend, one can still see ruins every where, now covered with thick forest in Trashiyangtse.

No proper archeological study has been done but from the ruins one can fairly judge that the Trashiyangtse valley was once more heavily populated than today and fell into ruin in later times. Adjacent to the old Dzong, there are huge ruined structures believed to be the middle and upper Dzongs.

Blessed by Guru Rinpoche, Trashiyangtse has many pilgrimage sites unknown even to many Bhutanese. The festivals themselves are held on the 15th and 30th of the first month in the Bhutanese lunar calendar and people from the neighboring Indian state Arunachal Pradesh visit every year. People also come from Merak and Sakten, dressed in their unique costumes.

The history of Chorten Cora is complex and very few details are available, often the written texts are based on legend without offering exact details. But the stupa is the biggest in the whole of Bhutan and the oldest. Set against the cliff and beside a crystal-clear river, in olden times people used to camp near by. Today, Trashiyangtse has become the newest district and development has brought some change to the atmosphere of the festival. Nevertheless, for the visitor it offers the sight of real Bhutan and its culture.

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