Warrior dance in Sikkim attracts visitors from abroad in large numbers

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Ravangla (Sikkim), Sept 20 : Warrior dance 'Pangtoed Chaam' was recently performed as a part of 'Pang Lhabsol' festival in Ravangla town of Sikkim attracting visitors from across the world.

The festival is celebrated every year on the 15th day of the 7th Buddhist month. The much-awaited 'Pang Lhabsol' rituals at Mani Choekerling monastery followed the inauguration by state Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.

The warriors came out of the main hall of the newly built Rawang Karma Thekchenling Donkun Duppai Gatsel monastery-cum-museum to perform in the courtyard.

Amid the chants, the drum beats, and the sound of cymbals, the warrior dancers called the Pangtoedpas performed the dance in honour of Mount Kanchenjunga considered the guardian deity of Sikkim.

The magnificence of the warrior dance fascinated the visitors who described the experience as dream come true.

"It is an altogether a different experience for me to witness this event. It is like a dream come true, as I have only seen this festival on television before. Mask dance was awesome," said Itay, a tourist from Israel.

The festival is being celebrated in Ravangla every year since 1984.

"When Tibet was a free nation, this festival used to be celebrated with great pomp and show. But now, as Tibet is not a sovereign nation, we celebrate this festival in Sikkim as majority of our people reside here. This festival is organised to appease our deity," said Norzang Tshering Lepcha, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Ravangla (S.D.M) and Member of Ravangla Festival Committee.

'Pang Lhabsol' festival is being celebrated for the past 25 years in Sikkim. Around 35,000 people attended the silver jubilee celebrations. By Tashi Pradhan

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