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Thongdrol Jyekha and Zhugdrel, Paro Tsechu, Day Five: Outside the Dzong

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Thongdrol Jyekha and Zhugdrel, Paro Tsechu, Day Five: Outside the Dzong

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Thongdrol Jyekha and Zhugdrel, Paro Tsechu, Day Five: Outside the Dzong
Additional title: Viewing of the Guru Rinpoche Thongdrol and Shugdrel Ceremony
Core of Culture (Organization) (Producer)
Padma Sambhava, approximately 717-approximately 762 (Honoree)
Core of Culture (Organization) (Donor)

Bhutan Dance Project, Core of Culture

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2005
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 663
Dance -- Bhutan
Folk dancing -- Bhutan
Dance -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism
Rites & ceremonies -- Bhutan
Paro (Bhutan : District)
Festivals -- Bhutan
Dzongs -- Bhutan -- Paro (District)
Filmed dance
Filmed performances
Content: Paro Tsechu Programme Day Five: (Outside the Dzong): Thongdrol Jyekha and Shugdrel Ceremony ; Pa Cham - Dance of the Heroes ; Ging Tang Tsholing - Dance of the Ging and Tsholing ; Guru Tshengye - The Eight Manifestations of Guru Tshengye ; Rig Nga Chudru Nga-Chui Cham - Dance of the Sixteen Fairies ; Chhoe Zhey - Religious Song (NB: not all the dances were filmed on this day).
Venue: Videotaped at the outer courtyard, Paro Dzong (at the raised level - looking towards the temple), on Mar. 25, 2005..
Acquisition: Gift; Core of Culture. NN-PD
Biographical/historical: The annual Paro Tshechu is held from the 9th till the 15th of the 2nd month every year. It was first introduced by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye in 1687, while the tshechu was initially held in the dzong, after the reconstruction in 1906 it was held outside. The highlight of the tshechu is the Thongdol which is believed to deliver from all sins. The Thongdol that was saved from the fire of 1906 was built by Lama Nawang Rabgay and is considered one of the oldest in Bhutan. It was slightly renovated by the government about twenty years ago. The material for the Thongdol was brought from Lhasa in Tibet.
Biographical/historical: The history of Ringpung Dzong (Palace of the heap of jewels) or Paro Dzong: The construction of the Paro Dzong began in 1644 on the order of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of modern day Bhutan. Unlike most of the other dzongs in Bhutan, it survived the massive 1897 earthquake although it was damaged by fire in 1906.
Biographical/historical: Paro Tshechu is held from the 11th to 15th day of the 2nd month of the Bhutanese calendar every year. The Tshechu proper begins with a Chamjug or rehearsal day on the 10th day of the 2nd month, and ends on the 16th day of the 2nd month with a day of dances at Dzongdrakha (see the records in BDA) monastery above Bondey.
Physical Description
Born digital
Extent: 1 video file (ca. 55 min.) : sound, color
In the early morning, the Great Thangka (Thongdrol) is displayed to the crowds of believers, and the Shugdrel Ceremony is performed. The word tongdröl means liberation by sight implying that the simple act of viewing the gigantic appliqued tapestry that is the Thongdrol brings about the liberation of the individual spectator from the karmic rounds. The highlight of the festival is the unrolling of the Thongdrol of Guru Rinpoche on the last day. This huge embroidered tapestry, is shown only on this one day each year, is not allowed to be struck by the direct rays of the sun. It is unfurled at around 3:00 in the morning and rolled back up by 7:30. The Thongdrol and, in fact, the entire tsechu celebrates the teachings and events in the life of Guru Rinpoche (in India: Padmasambhava). Although Buddhism had come to Bhutan before Guru Rinpoche's visit in 746, his missionary work throughout the Himalayan kingdoms did much to popularize and spread the religion of Buddhism, and, in particular, the Nyingmapa teachings (of the so-called "red hat" sect).
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19768423
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 54548340-8292-0130-e242-3c075448cc4b
Copyright Notice
Core of Culture
Rights Statement
This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Item timeline of events

  • 2005: Created
  • 2013: Digitized
  • 2022: Found by you!
  • 2023

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Thongdrol Jyekha and Zhugdrel" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2005.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Thongdrol Jyekha and Zhugdrel" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 29, 2022.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2005). Thongdrol Jyekha and Zhugdrel Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Thongdrol Jyekha and Zhugdrel, (2005)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=June 29, 2022 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Thongdrol Jyekha and Zhugdrel