The Gorsam Kora festival, widely viewed as the festival of friendship between India and Bhutan, was celebrated at the Gorsam Chorten Stupa in Arunachal Pradesh’s Zemithang.
Zemithang is a village in the Tawang district and is the last administrative division of India on the border with Tibet. It shares its western border with Bhutan. This is also the place where the 14th Dalai Lama had his first rest after fleeing from Tibet in 1959.
The historic Gorsam Kora festival, which showcases the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region, draws pilgrims from both India and Bhutan. The three-day festival started on March 18 and ended on Tuesday.
The 93-foot high Gorsam Chorten Stupa was built in the 13th century AD and is modeled after the Boudhanath Khasti Stupa of Nepal. Thousands of devotees visit during the Gorzam Kora festival to observe the virtuous occasion of the last day of the first month of the lunar calendar.
Local community of Zemithang, assisted by the civil administration and the Indian Army, organised the festival.
The event commenced with an opening prayer by His Eminence Padam Shree Thengtse Rinpoche and prayers at Khinzemane holy tree. It is believed that the Khinzemane holy tree was planted by the 14th Dalai Lama when he came to India in 1959.
The Indian Army conducted various events, including a pipe band and martial dance performance. These were followed by cultural dance performances by locals.
As part of the government’s ‘Vibrant Village Program’, activities were conducted to engage the local population like the Run for ‘Plastic Free Zemithang’, Medical Camp and a trek along the pristine Zemithang Valley.
The festival was attended by numerous pilgrims and Lamas from Bhutan, Tawang and nearby regions.