Nimalung Festival (13 Days)

Festival Dates:
21st to 23rd June 2018

The ‘Tsechu’ literally means the ’10th day’ of a month and is considered one of the auspicious days of the month. The festivals are called ‘Tshechu’ as one of the three days of festival falls on the 10th day of the particular month. These religious festivals are in honour of Guru Rimpoche or a patron deity of the area. Mask dances and various cultural folk dances are performed by the monks and the locals. All mask dances have religious significance and it is believed that one who witnesses the tshechu is profusely blessed.

Tshechus are also an occasion for friends and families to get together and for some it is also an opportunity to show off their best dresses, jewelry and ornaments. So, everybody is dressed in their best.

Nimalung Lhakhang is located in Chumey in Bumthang. It is approximately a 15 minute drive from the road that branches off from the village of Chumey.

The Lhakhang was co-founded by Dasho (a title meaning the Best of the bests) Gonpo Dorji and Doring Trulku Jamyang Kunzang, the third mind-aspect reincarnation of Terton Jigme Lingpa in 1935.

The main relic of the two-storied temple is a magnificent statue of Guru Rimpoche. The monastery is decorated with murals of the Nyingmapa and Drukpa traditions. There are also paintings of Guru Rimpoche and his disciples, the lineage of Terton Pema Lingpa, and several Buddhist masters affiliated with the monastery.

One of the most important festivals held at the Lhakhang is the Kaling Zhitro Drubchen. It was initiated by Doring Trulku and he was the first person to have started the rite in Bhutan. It is held on the first fifteen days of the first month of the Bhutanese calendar.

The local Tshechu is held once a year in the 5th month of the Bhutanese calendar. During the Tshechu an awe-inspiring Thongdrol (gigantic scroll painting) of Guru Rimpoche is put on display for attendees. The Thongdrol is nine meters long and twelve meters wide and in addition to inspiring wonder is said to cleanse the sins of all those who look upon it. The Thongdrol which was donated by Lopen Pemala and was consecrated in June 1994 in the presence of a large crowd of villagers by Lhalung Thuksey Rimpoche, the reincarnation of mental aspect of Pema Lingpa. During the festival, a series of colorful and spectacular mask dances are performed.

Itinerary

Day 01. Arrive Paro
Day 02. Paro Taktsang Hike
Day 03: Paro – Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 04: Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 05: Thimphu – Punakha
Day 06: Punakha – Gangtey
Day 07: Gangtey – TrongsaBumthang (Distance 137 kms)
Day 08: Bumthang Witness Nimalung Festival
Day 09: Bumthang Sightseeing
Day 10: Bumthang- Wangdue
Day 11: Wangdue – Thimphu
Day 12: Thimphu – Paro
Day 13: Departure