Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Statues of Unity Park vibrates with colours of cultural heritage and communal bonding

GANGTOK, August 28: Pang Lhabsol, the festival commemorating the consecration of Mt Khangchendzonga as the guardian deity was observed here at the Statue of Unity in Gangtok in a grand manner.
Bongthings and monks offered their prayers in front of the Statue of Unity seeking peace and prosperity in this tiny Himalayan State.
The Governor V Rama Rao attended the occasion as the chief guest along with the NK Pradhan, MLA, Gangtok.
The festival is unique to the State and is observed every year on the 15th day of the seventh Buddhist month, falling between August and September.
Addressing the congregation, the Governor said, “Sikkim has been tremendously blessed with the natural, flora, fauna and scared mountains which is infact exclusive in the entire region.” He also voiced on the festival’s uniqueness in uniting the Sikkimese people. “May peace and tranquillity prevail in Sikkim forever,” the Governor wished.
NK Pradhan felt that the way of observing the festival itself reveals the determination of the people to live in unity.
Thukchuk Lachungpa, President, Pang Lhabsol Celebration Committee said that the celebration this year was done in a simple way with the participation of few schools and cultural organisations.
In the school level dance competition, which formed a part of the Pang Lhabsol celebrations here, Kyi- De- Khang School bagged the first position while Palden Khangsar School and Deorali Girls Senior Secondary School won the second and third positions respectively.
Similarly, Hamro Parivar of Assam Lingzey, stood first in the open competition. Nitya Kala Sansthan, Sichey and Rong Ong Ronjeshum bagged the second and third prizes respectively.
The winners were awarded with a cash prize of Rs 5000, Rs 3000 and 2000 respectively. This festival also marks the signing of the treaty of blood brotherhood signed between the Lepchas and Bhutias by Khye Bumsa and Thekong Tek when the local deities were invoked to witness the occasion.
Later, in the seventeenth century, the festival was popularised by the third king of Sikkim, Chogyal Chagdor Namgyal when he introduced the Pangtoed Chaam during Pang Lhabsol. In the Chaam, the guardian deity, Dzonga is portrayed as a fiery red-faced deity with a crown of five skulls and riding a snow lion.
In Rabong, the festival was celebrated for three days and culminated today with a Pangtoed Chaam performed by both the monks and laymen at Mani Chokerling.
Monks and Bongthings also went to offer their prayers at the sacred caves, sacred lakes and in the foothills of Mt Khangchendzonga.
As usual, Pemayangtse and Ralang monasteries also performed the Pangtoed Chaam in a solemn way.