Cremation is the most common funeral arrangement in Bhutan. Fragments of bone remain, so they are often crushed, mixed with mud, and pressed into a mold. The resulting miniature stupas are called tsa-tsa’s. Similar to Bouddhanath and other large stupas, which are also believed to contain relics, they are sacred memorials. The tsa-tsa’s are then taken to shrines or sacred sites and left to reside there.
The Trashichhoe fortress-monastery in the capital of Thimphu originally housed both the National Assembly and the National Monastic Body. After fire and earthquake, it was entirely rebuilt in the 1960’s in the traditional way–without a single drawing, blueprint, or nail!