Dzong Consecration and Invasion
The Dzong includes a Gonkhang (inner sanctum of a guardian deity) and several other temples: the Lam Lhakhang is dedicated to the Eight Great Indian Masters of Buddhism; the Guru Lhakhang has a statue of Guru; the Tshogshing Lhakhang, where the lineages of the Drukpa, Karmapa, Nyingmapa, and Dzongchen Lamas are represented; and the assembly hall of the monks. In the central tower is the Goenkhang, dedicated to Mahakala and containing statues of Goenpo Chamdrel Sum (Mahakala, Mahakali and the Raven Crown), and Goenpo Lhengyed. Its wall paintings were done by Lam Sonam Zangpo, Lam Moenlam Rabzang, and Kholong Kota. The Tshechu Lhakhang has images of Guru Rinpoche and his eight manifestations.
Tibetan invasions and the myth behind the ‘Sky Dzong’
After its construction, Trashigang Dzong withstood various invasions by Tibetan troops. Interesting local lore states that when the Tibetan troops descended from Muktangkhar, a village on the other side of the Dzong, they saw the Dzong below and said, “Trashigang Dzong is not a sky Dzong but a ground Dzong”; however, on reaching the banks of Dang-mechhu they looked up and, seeing the impenetrable Dzong aloft, they agreed that it was a “sky Dzong” after all, and they fled.
Ever since the Dzong was built, the guardian deity of the Dzong, Garab Wangchuk, said to have been brought from Wamrong, is believed to have protected the Dzong from both internal and external dangers.
During the time of the fourth Deb, Tenzin Rabgye, the entire Trashigang Dzong was enlarged and a Gonkhang added.
In 1710, the second Dzongpon Khamsum Wangdi commissioned the writing of the Kanjur (translation of the words of Buddha). In 1958 the present Dzong was enlarged by Dzong-pon Thinley Tobgyal, popularly known as Dasho Dophagla.
Renowned carpenters such as Tharchen from Tomiyangtse, Rangparpa Karma Lhuendup, and Zotag from Kurtoe were summoned for the works.
The Trashigang Dzong was blessed with solemn sanctity because a splendid ceremony was performed by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, along with Lama Moenlam Rabzang, Lama Sonam Zangpo, Lama Khalong Kota and Lama Neten of Trashigang Rabdey
Tshechhu and Thongdrel
Tshechu in Trashigang Dzong is conducted annually from the 7th to the 11th day of the tenth month of the Bhutanese calendar. The seventh day is the day of bathing or thrue for monks. On the eighth, the rehearsals take place; and on the ninth, the real festival begins. The tenth day is the day of unfolding and display of Neten Chudrug (Sixteen Arhats) Thongdrol (large scroll) along with different dances. On the final day, the old Thongdrol of Guru Tshengyed (8 manifestations of Guru Rinpoche) is displayed with the Guru Tsh-engyed dance.
The Neten Chudrug Thongdrel spread over the utse was built in 2001, aided by contributions made by the Rabdey, Dzongkhag officials, and the business community.
The Thongdrel has a fifty-nine-foot-tall Buddha in the center, surrounded by the sixteen Arhats rising thirteen feet each. It has a fifteen-foot-tall image of Guru Rinpoche and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and a nine-foot-tall portrait of Tshelha Namsum (Buddha of long life), Dolkar (White Tara), and Namgyal (Bizaya).
Trashigang Rabdey has 210 monks.