Gomphu Kora lies in the heart of the agrarian belt of eastern Bhutan. It is 23 kilometres from Trashigang Dzong, the headquarters of Bhutan’s most populous district, and two kilometers from Duksum, a quaint hamlet consisting of a few shops.
Gomphu means “Meditation Cave” and Kora means “Circumambulation”. The name is derived from a cave formed out of a rock-face next to a temple that has been built as a tribute to this sacred site.
The story of Gomphu Kora goes back to the 8th century AD. Legend has it that an evil spirit named Myongkhapa escaped from Samye in Tibet when Guru Padmasambhava, the progenitor of the Nyingma strand of Buddhism, was spreading the Dharma in the Himalayas. Myongkhapa followed the course of the present-day Kholongchhu stream and concealed himself inside a rock where Gomphu Kora stands today. The Guru followed the evil, mediated for three days inside the rock cave and finally vanquished it.
Several prominent religious personalities have undertaken pilgrimage to Gomphu Kora and the earliest was Gongkhar Gyal, grandson of Lhasay Tsangma. He 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. “Go around Gomphu Kora today for tomorrow may be too late”, advises a local song that entices devotees to visit Gomphu Kora. The place comes alive, once every year from 23rd to 25th March (check with your tour operator to confirm these dates), when people all over eastern Bhutan descend upon the narrow valley, dressed in their finery, to partake in the festivity, to worship and to reaffirm their connection with the past.
The sanctity of the three day religious festival even draws the Dakpa tribe from neighboring Arunachael Pradesh (India). They endure days of travel on foot through rugged environs with entire families in tow. Some say the Dakpas have done this for more than a millennium, beginning shortly after Guru Padmasambhava sanctified the place in the 8th century A.D.
The Guru is attributed to have said that devotees will flock to Gomphu Kora for eons to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. There couldn’t be a more accurate prophesy.
Green Mandala Tours is a licensed and registered tour operator in Bhutan. We pride ourselves in providing all kinds of customized tour services in Bhutan from simple cultural tours to organizing the grueling month-long Snowmen Trek, considered by many as the toughest trek in the world.
The founder of the company is Tashi Dorji (Mr), a former newspaper journalist who worked in four newspapers and served as editor in three of them. An ardent traveller himself, Tashi Dorji always gives his personal touch to all groups of tourists and takes personal interest in making each and every tourist enjoy Bhutan to the fullest.
We believe every tourist visiting Bhutan is on a-once-in-a-lifetime trip and we try our best to make it as much memorable as we can. We are more than eager to organize exclusive and luxurious trips and we take it as a challenge to meet each and every wish of our guests.
We customize travel plans meticulously for single, couple, as well as group travellers and we take delight in organizing personal and special requests and wishes like building up a romantic atmosphere for a partner to make marriage proposals. When the groom is on his knees, we ensure the bride says yes! We also organize marriage parties and any other festivity on request.
We organize cultural tours and trekking expeditions that could be easy, medium or tough. We organize adventure and sports, spiritual and meditative retreats, and special family packages and romantic honeymoon jaunts are our expertise. We also specialize in offering customized services according to the wish of our guests.
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At Green Mandala Tours, we believe every guest should end his day in Bhutan with a smile and we take pride in making each and every day an experience of a lifetime in the country where happiness is valued more than money.