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14 Days

Dakpa Kora

  • Start Date: March 25, 2024
  • End Date: April 8, 2024
  • Destination: Trashi Yangtse
  • Venue: Chorten Kora, Trashi Yangtse

Overview of Dakpa Kora

Chorten Kora is located in Trashiyangtse, the easternmost district of Bhutan. The Chorten (Stupa) was built by Lama Ngawang Loday in 1740 to subdue a demon that lived where the Chorten now stands. The physical structure of the chorten was copied from the Bodhi Chorten in Nepal.

A legend states that a young girl from Tawang 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.

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

Discover the Mystical Charm of Chorten Kora: A Stupa of Peace and Harmony in Bhutan

Nestled beside the serene Kholongchu River in Eastern Bhutan lies the magnificent Chorten Kora, an awe-inspiring stupa steeped in history and spiritual significance. This 15th-century architectural marvel, built by Lama Ngawang Lodrö, nephew of the revered Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, stands as a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage. Drawing inspiration from Nepal’s famed Boudhanath stupa, Chorten Kora captivates visitors with its unique design and mystical aura.

Why Visit Chorten Kora?

  1. Historical Significance: Discover the stupa’s origin, conceived to pacify a local demon, thus bringing enduring peace to the valley.
  2. Architectural Splendor: Marvel at its construction, mirroring the iconic Boudhanath stupa, and appreciate its intricate design that took twelve years to complete.
  3. Spiritual Oasis: Experience the tranquil atmosphere that has attracted pilgrims and visitors for centuries, symbolizing the harmony and spirituality of Bhutan.

The Chorten Kora Festivals: A Cultural Spectacle

Attending the Chorten Kora festivals offers a unique insight into Bhutan’s vibrant traditions and community spirit. The Dakpa Kora and Drukpa Kora, celebrated with grand circumambulations, draw participants from far and wide, including the Dakpa people from India’s Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutanese from various regions. These festivals, held in the first lunar month, are not just a celebration of the stupa but a vivid display of Bhutan’s rich cultural tapestry.

A Tale of Devotion: The Dakini Princess Legend

The story of Chorten Kora takes an intriguing turn with the legend of a Dakini princess from Arunachal Pradesh, who, in an ultimate act of devotion, is believed to have entombed herself within the stupa to meditate for the welfare of all beings. This captivating tale is the inspiration behind the popular Dzongkha language film “Chorten Kora.”

Chorten Kora is more than just a monument; it’s a journey into the heart of Bhutan’s spiritual landscape. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a spiritual seeker, or simply a lover of extraordinary architecture, Chorten Kora promises an enriching and unforgettable experience.

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Detailed Program

On arrival in Paro, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Thimphu, the Capital of Bhutan for two nights. Spend the rest of the day at leisure to allow for acclimatization.

Places and attractions:

Accommodation options:

Today you’ll explore a fascinating full-day tour to see the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,350 m. The first stop is at the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Next, visit the Changangkha Monastery, the Folk Heritage Museum, a showcase of the Bhutanese artifacts used in rural households, and the National Library, which houses ancient manuscripts, or the Painting School. This afternoon, head out of town to explore the Simtokha Dzong, which is the oldest fortress in Bhutan, built in 1629, or visit the National Textile Museum.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Attractions and places:

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After breakfast, today we travel to Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang for a distance of 135 km for about 5-6 hours journey and en route stop at Dochula pass at an altitude of 3,050 m. If the weather is clear, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the snow-capped eastern Himalayan ranges and also a magnificent distant view of the Gasa Dzong from this spot. After lunch, visit the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong.

Continue on the journey to Gangtey in Phobjikha, which is one of the winter roosting grounds of the rare Black-necked Cranes, where they come in hundreds after spending their summer in Tibet and then migrate to the Himalayas of Bhutan to spend their winter – they arrive in September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March. Along the highway, you’ll photo stops as there are loads of breathtaking views during the journey.

Overnight in Gangtey.

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The altitude of Gangtey in the Phobjikha valley is 3,000 m. This morning you will visit the picturesque Gangtey Gompa (monastery). Enjoy the views of the remote Phobjikha glacial valley and the black mountain ranges. After lunch, we travel a distance of 120 km for about 5 hours to Trongsa via Pelela pass at an altitude of 3,300 m. This pass is an important dividing range that separates western central and eastern Bhutan. En route stop at Chendebji Chorten (stupa) located just below the road.

Spend the night in Trongsa.

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Today morning you’ll visit the Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the present Royal Family where the first two kings ruled from this dzong, and also visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower). After lunch, you’ll continue the journey for a distance of 68 km for about 2 hours to Bumthang, the most beautiful valley and cultural heartland in the Kingdom.

En route, we will stop for a quick visit to the Yathra Weaving Factory at Chumey, where they use yak and sheep wools for Yathra products with patterns unique to Bumthang. The evening is at leisure to relax and enjoy, we have allowed some time for this and also to explore the delightful surroundings of Bumthang valley at 2,600 m.

Overnight in Bumthang.

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After breakfast, we set out for a full day of sightseeing to experience more of this spiritual heartland of Bhutan. You will visit the following legendary monasteries, temples, and dzong: the Jakar Dzong, the Jambay Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet, the Kurjey Lhakhang, built in 1652 and named after the body imprint of Guru Rinpoche who introduced the Buddhism in Bhutan and visits the Tamshing Lhakhang, built in 1501 and the most important Nyingma temple in Bhutan. If time permits, visit the famous Swiss Cheese Factory and Diary Farm in Bumthang.

Overnight in Bumthang.

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This morning takes you through a scenic journey for a distance of 198 km for about 7-8 hours journey to Mongar at an altitude of 1,600 m. Along the journey, you will cross the two villages called Ura and Sengor passing through the highest point on Bhutan’s lateral road via Thrumshingla pass at an altitude of 3,800 m. En route stop at Ura Shelthangla, where you will enjoy a magnificent view of Bhutan’s highest peak, Mt Gangkar Puensum at 7,500 m.

Next, stop at Sengor village and Naming where you can view the breathtaking landscapes of the cascading waterfalls and admire the diverse flora and fauna in these places. Descending the road will take you to Lingmethang at an altitude of 700 m and cross the Kurichu River, where the largest hydroelectric power in the eastern region is commissioned over the river.

Spend the night in Mongar.

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After breakfast, we depart Mongar after a quick visit to the Mongar Dzong and head to Trashiyangtse for a distance of 146 km for about 5 hours journey via Korila pass at an altitude of 2,450 m. Afterward road descends and passes through the famous turns of Yadi and en route you will see the temple, perched on top of a steep hill above the village which is the most important monastery in eastern Bhutan.

This is the place of origin of the famous Drametse Nga Chham, a masked dance with drums. Visit the Trashigang Dzong before having lunch at Trashigang. Continue into Trashiyangtse at an altitude of 1,850 m, a fairly new district that was separated from Trashigang.

You will spend three nights here.

Places and attractions:

Attend Chorten Kora Festival. The sanctity of the three-day religious festival draws the Dakpa tribe in neighboring Arunachal Pradesh (India) who endures days of travel on foot amid rugged environs with entire families. Some say the Dakpas have done this for more than a millennium; beginning shortly after Guru Padmasambhava sanctified the place in the 8th century.

Overnight in Trashiyangtse.

Places and attractions:

This morning you will be taken to visit Bumdeling, a wonderful plain alongside the Kholong chhu River. Bumdeling is also one of the winter roosting grounds of the rare Black-necked Cranes, where they come in hundreds after spending their summer in Tibet and then migrate to the Himalayas of Bhutan to spend their winter – they arrive in September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March. Back to Trashiyangtse and lunch at your hotel.

Later visit the new Trashiyangtse Dzong. We will also visit the dazzling white Chorten Kora (stupa) on the Kholong chhu riverbank below the town and the Institute for Zorig Chusum, where students are trained in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.

Overnight in Trashiyangtse.

Places and attractions:

Depart from Paro towards your onward destination.

  • Inclusion
  • Exclusion
  • Insurance
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium update).
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
  • Route Permit
  • Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
  • All land transportation by private vehicle
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Monuments entrance fees where applicable
  • Drinking water
  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A sustainable development fee of $200. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
  • Airfare & Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.

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