Bhutan is predominantly a Buddhist country, with there being many spectacular monasteries – both big and small tucked away across the length and breadth of the country. For a Buddhist devotee, a religious pilgrimage would be considered incomplete without visiting the important monasteries in Bhutan. Takhtshang Monastery, Buli Khelem Gonpa, Chorten Kora, Drametse Lhakhang, Jambhay Lhakhang, Lhakhang Karpo, Talo Sanga Choeling, Gangtey Sanga Choeling, Kurje Lhakhang, Kichu Lhakhang, Chimi Lhakhang, etc. are some of the monasteries that are quite popular among Buddhist pilgrims. These monasteries represent the beliefs and culture of the Bhutanese people.
Tshechu and Festival
Tshechu (literally means “tenth day”) is a religious event held on the tenth day every month (according to the lunar calendar). The Tshechu corresponds with the birthday of the revered Guru Rimpoche. It is mainly a social gathering, where the local people from all the neighboring villages converge in the various temples, dzongs and monasteries across the country, Tshechu is celebrated with great pomp and show.
Religious masked dances are a mainstay of the Tshechu. All these dances have a meaning or a story behind them. The masked dances portray the life and deeds of Guru Rimpoche. Other than these dances, many other entertainment activities also take place during the Tshechu. According to beliefs of the Bhutanese people, it is essential to attend the Tshechu at least once in life to wash away one’s sins. Paro and Thimphu Tshechus are among the most popular Tshechus celebrated in Bhutan.