As the monsoon rains deluge the lush Chumey Valley, summer crowds flock to the valley's Nimalung Lhakhang to celebrate the three-day Nimalung Tsechu, held during the fifth lunar month - usually in June or early July.
During the tsechu, a full program of masked dances climaxes when a huge thongdrol - a ritual scroll - unfurls to show Guru Rinpoche's image. Kept under lock and key in the monastery for the rest of the year, the 12-metre high image supposedly cleanses the souls of all those who gaze upon it.
Founded in 1935, Nimalung Lhakhang is one of several monasteries in the Chumey Valley that follow Nyingma as well as Drukpa traditions. A magnificent image of Guru Rinpoche sits year-round at the heart of Nimalung's richly painted chapels, as the focus of worship for the lhakhang's hundred resident monks and the villagers who live nearby.