Gomkora Festival

Trip Facts

Gomkora Festival
Length : 15 Days - 14 Nights
Start : Paro
Finish : Paro
Trip Style : Festival Tour
Discounts : Applicable on this trip
Group Size : Maximum 12, Avg 5
Group Leader : Certified Tour Leader from The DBT.
Transport : New Model Toyota Hiace /Coaster bus/Land Cruiser not more than 3 years old.
Trip Rating by Popularity :
Physical Demand Rating :
Can it be Tailored? : Yes

Trip Overview

Gomphu Kora located in eastern Bhutan is just 23 kilometres from the most populated city in Bhutan, Trashigang Dzong and a mere 2 kilometers from Duksum, a small hamlet in the agrarian valley.

According to traditional Bhutanese custom and local language, Gomphu stands for “Meditation Cave” whereas Kora stands for “Circumambulation”. Ghompu Kora is a sacred site that derives it name from a cave formed out of a rock face.

If we go by the popular legend of the place, Myongkhapa an evil spirit escaped from Samye(Tibet) in the 8th century A.D. Guru Padmasambhava, who happened to be preaching Nyingma strand of Buddhism and spreading the virtue of Dharma in the Himalayas during that course of time. After escaping from Samye, Myongkhapa moved along the Kholongchhu stream and took refuge inside a rock. Guru Padmasambhava reached there and meditated for 3 days to vanquish the evil spirit and relief the world from its terror.

Ghompu Kora today stand on top of that rock and also there is a shrine in the temple next to it.

Over time, Ghompu Khora has been witnessing the visit of many prominent religious personalities. Including grandson of Lhasay Tsangma, Gongkhar Gyal, who built a shrine in the 10th century. Terton Pema Lingpa enlarged the shrine in 14th century and grandfather of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk renovated the same in the 15th century.
The circumambulation is the primary attraction of Gomphu Kora. It means “Go around Gomphu Kora today for tomorrow may be too late”. It is a local song composed to entices devotees. Every year Gomphu Kora holds a grand festival in the last week of March (contact us for the exact dates) which witness people from all over the eastern Bhutan partaking in the festival to reaffirm their faith and revive a link with their past.

Dakpa tribe from Arunachal Pradesh (India) travel on foot through rugged and difficult terrain to witness this event. As the popular legend goes, Dakpa has been doing the same for more than a millennium now. The people still follow Guru Padmasambhava prophecy of people flocking to Ghompu Kora to mark the celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
Eastern Bhutan witnesses maximum tourist in the summers when the weather is clear and warm. Here, people are able to visit more places in a shorter duration of time before the start of the rainy season.

Outline Iteinerary

Day 01:  ARRIVE PARO

  • Our representative will receive you. Please note to take seats on the left side of the plane if you want to see Mt. Everest and some of the Himalayan mountains including Mt. Jomolhari and JIchu Drake in Bhutan
  • Discuss the Tour Programme with the Tour Guide over lunch, if you desire changes or require additional information.
  • Drive to Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate. A clear day wilol give a beautiful view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m).
  • On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongtsen Gampo. According to legend, this monastery is one of the 108 monasteries built across the Himalayan region by the Tibetan King to subdue the demon that lay across the Himalayan region.

Day 02:   PARO – A DAY EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY

  • After breakfast a short drive to the trailhead that climbs through beautiful pine forest to Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around meditation cave of Guru Padma Sambhav, who is popularly known as Guru Rimpoche, in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tigress, who actually was said to be his favorite consort., Yeshey Tshopgyal/ the daughter of Bumthang king.
  • In the evening, drive to Thimphu.

Day 03:   PARO – THIMPHU / SIGHT SEEING

  • Visit National Memorial Chorten (1974) built as a memorial to the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the architect of modern Bhutan and the Dupthop Lhakhang, housing a nunnery
  • Visit the National Library, store house of ancient Buddhist manuscripts
  • The National Institute of Zorig Chusum, the institute of 13 arts and crafts
  • After lunch, stroll around the Sunday Market to see the Bhutanese way of life and witness the Archery Tournament, the National Game of Bhutan
  • Visit the mini zoo at Motithang and drive to Sangaygang view point for a spectacular view of the Capital city.

Day 04:   THIMPHU - PUNAKHA: (72 Km, 3- hour drive)

  • Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view the ranges of the eastern Himalayas and walk around 108 miniature Druk Wangyel Chortens. On the way, stop at “the Temple of Fertility." Dedicated to Lam Drukpa Kuneley, the Divine Mad Monk, childless couples come to offer prayers for children.
  • After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted that “… a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant.” There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zow (engineer) Palep, to sleep in front of the statue.While Palep was sleeping, the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri, the palace of Guru Rinpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1953.
  • In the evening, hike to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery.

Day 05:   PUNAKHA – GANGTEY VALLEY

  • After breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Gangtey
  • On arrival visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery, from outside. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second reincarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth reincarnation. It is a Nyingma monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingma monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the black-necked cranes during winter.

Day 06:   GANGTEY VALLEY – TRONGSA – BUMTHANG

  • Drive to Bumthang. On the way visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive dzong of Bhutan, built in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Shabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and later enlarged by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and the first and second kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Then Visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower, which has been turned into a Heritage Museum The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. After Lunch, drive to Bumthang.

Day 07:   BUMTHANG – SIGHT SEEING

  • After breakfast, visit Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667
  • Visits Lamey Goenpa, a large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi
  • Visit Jambay Lhakhang, built by King Srongtsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rinpoche hid several terma (religious treasures). In October one of the most spectacular festivals, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here
  • After lunch, Visit Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang, the site of the palace of Sindhu Raja, the Indian king who was reported to have settled in Bumthang and invited Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang. The original palace was made of iron and hence the name Chakhar. The saint Dorji Lingpa built the Current building in 14th century. Its correct name is Dechen Phodrang
  • Visit Kurjey Lhakhang, named after body print of Guru Rinpoche, around which a temple was built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa
  • Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingma temple in the kingdom
  • Visit Membarstho which literally means, “The burning Lake.”

Day 08:   Bumthang—Mongar

  • After breakfast drive to Mongar. And on the way visit typical Bhutanese farm houses
  • Visit Mongar Dzong. This Dzong was rebuilt in 1953 and is quite small. There are around 50 to 60 monks in the Dzong, many of them young boys eight to ten years old
  • Drive to Trashigang over Korila Pass affords a picturesque view of farm lands.

Day 09:   TRASHIGANG – A DAY EXCURSION TO KHALING – TRASHIYANGTSE

  • After breakfast drive to Khaling to visit the traditional handloom centre. The centre was established by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan (an NGO) to encourage the women to keep alive the production of traditional textiles. After lunch hike to villages in Khaling where you will get to know more of Bhutanese culture especially of the Eastern Bhutan and their way of living
  • On the way back, visit Sherubtse College, the first college of Bhutan, which was started as the second public school in the kingdom in 1976, patterned after Eton School in England
  • Drive to Trashiyangtse.

Day 10 – 11: TRASHIYANGTSE – GOMKORA (27-29 March, 2015)

  • Early morning drive to drive to Gom Kora to witness the festival.

Day 12:   TRASHIYANGTSE – MONGAR

  • Attend the festival in the morning. After lunch drive to Mongar.

Day 13. MONGAR - BUMTHANG (7hrs drive)

  • After breakfast, drive to Bumthang. Packed lunch will be served on the way. If you have time in the evening, visit Wangdicholing Palace (the old ruined palace), the residence for the 1st and 2nd Kings.
  • In the evening, stroll in the town. Dinner and overnight stay in a farm house to see the Bhutanese way of life ( if agreed and arranged in advance, if not stay in a hotel.)

Day 14. BUMTHANG - THIMPHU (9 hrs drive)

  • Early breakfast, drive to Thimphu. In the evening visit to the handicrafts shops.

Day 15: THIMPHU – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

  • Drive to Paro International Airport on your onward journey to new destination.

Date and Departure Information

Fix Departure Dates are yet to be announced. If you are interested for this trip, please click the button below for the further inquiry

Price Details

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), Tourism Business regulating agency of the Royal Government of Bhutan, fixes the Tourist Tariff rate. This rate is valid for all the inclusive tour packages. The tariffs for tourists visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:

Peak Season Rate: (March, April, May, September, October and November) Cultural Tour /Trekking – US$ 250/per person per night halt.

Low Season Rate:(January, February, June, July, August and December) Cultural Tour /Trekking- US$ 200/per person per night halt.

Price Inclusions

  • Bhutan Royalty ($65 per person per day).
  • Visa Fees ($40 per person).
  • All necessary permit fees.
  • All transfers and sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • All meals including evening tea.
  • All accommodation in our partner hotels, which are some of the best in the country on twin sharing basis.
  • All trekking equipments and logistics including cooks, camp personnel, horsemen and ponies.
  • English-speaking tour leader, guide and driver.
  • Trekking Insurance (Our value-added service).
  • Cultural Performance (our value-added service).

Price Exclusion

  • Airfare for flights into and out of Bhutan.
  • All personal expenses like laundry, telephone, tips, shopping expenses.
  • Meals and Beverages other than the ones mentioned above (see inclusions).
  • Spa Charges.
  • Travel and Medical insurance.

Route map

Gomkora Festival
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KH Zaman
Buffalo, New York



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