Situated upon a dagger-shaped mountain, Yongla Goemba is one of the oldest and holiest shrines in Eastern Bhutan. One of the more interesting historical facts about the temple is that during the Duar War the Trongsa Poenlop (Feudal Lord) Jigme Namgyel, father of the First King Ugyen Wangchuck, used it as a base of operations in order to launch raids upon the British troops.
There are various other shrines and temples in the region including the 15h century temple Kheri Goemba and the Lektiri Goemba in Goemba Singma village.
Pemagatshel is famous for its artisans and weavers. The religious instruments like Jalings (oboe-like instruments) and Dhungs (long ritual trumpets) produced here are highly prized and sold throughout the country.
The weavers of Pemagatshel produce fine Kiras (traditional dress worn by women) from Bura (raw silk). Two particularly gorgeous examples that are a specialty of the region are the Lungsermo and Aiekapur. The region is also famous for a locally made sweet known as Tsatsi Buram. It is made from the abundant sugarcane that grows in the district and was well-liked throughout the country.
PEMA GATSHEL TSHECHU
Pema Gatshel Dzongkhag is situated in Eastern Bhutan. Its major inhabitants are the Tshanglas who are found living on agriculture and animal husbandry.
The district is known for its numerous festivals and folk songs. The most notable folk song is the Ausa, a song that is sung during the departure of family members, friends and relatives. Since the construction of the dzong in the early 1980’s, they have also celebrated the annual Tshechu over a three day period.
Many Mask Dances or Cham which are believed to confer blessings upon the spectators and teach them the ways of the Buddhist dharma are performed during the festival. Cham are also believed to provide protection from misfortune and exorcise evil influences. The festival is a religious ceremony and it is believed that you gain merit simply by attending it.
It is also an annual social gathering where people from all walks of life get together to celebrate and contemplate religion. People often travel great distances to be a part of the Tsehchu. The entire community rejoices together, dressed in their finest clothing whilst enjoying the company of friends and family.