Guwahati:  The historic Gorsam Kora festival which is known as the festival of friendship between India and Bhutan was held at the Gorsam Chorten stupa at Arunachal Pradesh’s Zemithang from 18 to 21 March 2023.

This festival showcasing the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region attracts pilgrims from India as well as Bhutan to circumambulate and pray.

The annual pilgrimage bears testimony to the historical linkages between India and Bhutan, witnessed by the spiritual connection that exists between Chorten Kora in Bhutan’s Trashi Yangtse and Gorsam Kora in Zemithang, both being modelled after the Boudhanath Khasti Chaitya stupa in Nepal.

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Zemithang is one of the villages being developed under the Vibrant Village Programme and is the last administrative headquarters of the Indian administration towards the Tibet border.

The festival was jointly organized by the local community of Zemithang, the civil administration and the Indian Army.

The event began with an opening prayer by His Eminence Padam Shree Thengtse Rinpoche and prayers at Khinzemane holy tree.

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It is believed that the Khinzemane holy tree was planted by the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama when he entered India in 1959 via Khinzemane to Zemithang route in Tawang. 

The pilgrims and tourists also visited the Namkha Chu War Memorial to pay tribute to the martyrs of the 1962 Sino-India war.  

The Indian Army conducted several other events including pipe band and martial dance performances followed by cultural dance performances by locals.

As part of the government’s Vibrant Village Programme, various activities were also 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 scores of pilgrims and Lamas from Bhutan, Tawang and nearby places.