In Pics: Sikkim celebrates festival of unity Pang Lhabsol at Tsuklakhang Palace
Pang Lhabsol celebrations

Gangtok: Sikkim celebrated the festival of Pang Lhabsol to officer respect and homage to Mount Kanchenjunga. The festival also commemorates the treaty of brotherhood among Lepchas and Bhutias, signifying the unity of Sikkimese people. The festival culminated on Saturday, after four days of rituals.

Mount Kanchenjunga or Khangchendzonga, as it is also known, is considered the guardian deity of Sikkim, and the Sikkimese invoke the deity on this day on behalf of the entire country. The festival falls on the fifteenth day of the seventh month according to the Tibetan Calendar. It usually takes place in August or September.

During the festival, Dzonga (the representation of Mount Khangchendzonga), Gonpo (Mahakaal) and Dragpo Deshi (the guardian of the four directions) are venerated and worshipped. The festival was introduced and popularised by the third Chogyal (ruler) of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal.

Befittingly, the festival is celebrated every year at the Royal Palace Tsuklakhang in Gangtok. This year, the festival was graced by the presence of Royal Princess Hope Leezum Namgyal, along with a host of other dignitaries including Bhaichung Bhutia, who sought blessings on the occasion.

Lhendup Dorjee Lepcha, Coordinator of the Tsuklakhang Trust that organised the festival, said, “It’s a five day Shyapten (Puja) with rituals performed at Tsuklakhang Palace. It is an honour to pay tribute to all the guardian deities of Sikkim. It is believed that all the high mountains, passes, water bodies, and caves are the abodes of all the spirits considered as the guardian deities of Sikkim. The festival begins on the 11th day of seventh month of the Lunar Calendar till the 15th day. The final culmination is today. These ceremonies were patronised by the rulers. The kings had a prominent role to play in the welfare of the people and their lands. Till today, they are under the patronage of the King.”

Many tourists visit Sikkim just to watch this festival with dancers twirling fiercely to the beat of drums. It spreads positivity and marks the unity of the people.

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