Kurjey Tsechu

History and legend mix freely throughout Bhutanese history - nowhere more so than in the stories that swirl around Bumthang's Kurjey Lhakhang and Kurjey's annual tsechu. In 746 the ruler of Bumthang, Sindhu Raja, offended a local deity who sought revenge by stealing the Sindhu Raja's life force. The Raja, close to death, asked Guru Rinpoche to come to Bumthang to help him, which the Guru promptly did, first sitting in meditation in the spot where Kurjey Lhakhang stands today. After he'd completed his meditation, Guru Rinpoche tried to tempt the piqued deity into giving up the Sindhu Raja's life force by transforming into all eight of his manifestations and dancing in the field in front of the temple. These dances have been recreated every year since during the one-day Kurjey Tsechu, which falls on Guru Rinpoche's birthday - usually in June. The final day of the Nimalung Tsechu overlaps with the festival at Kurjey.