Festival Name: Gomphu Kora Festival
Festival Type: Religious
Venue: Gomphu Kora Lhakhang, Trashigang
Gomphu means ‘meditation cave’ while Kora translates to ‘circumambulation’. The monastery is popular for the circumambulation festival where people go around the temple day and night. Gomphu Kora is situated 24 kms from the Trashigang dzong in Trashigang in the eastern Bhutan. The name Gomphu Kora (Gomphu – “Meditation Cave”, Kora – “Circumambulation”) is derived from a cave in the place. It is said that in the 8th century, an evil spirit named Myongkhapa escaped from Samye in Tibet and concealed himself inside a rock where Gomphu Kora stands today. Guru Rinpoche meditated for three days inside a rock cave in this place and subdued the evil spirit. Gongkhar Gyal, grandson of Lhasay Tsangma, built a small shrine at Gomphu Kora around the 10th century A.D. In the 14th century, Terton Pema Lingpa, visited Gomphu Kora and enlarged the existing shrine. It was renovated and enlarged in the 15th century by Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk, the grandfather of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. He also inscribed murals on the walls of the temple. The biggest attraction of Gomphu Kora is the circumambulation of the Gomphu Kora temple. People from all over the eastern districts come to the place to worship ad reaffirm their connection with the past lives.