Rumtek Cham

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On this day, Sikkimese Buddhists pay homage to Guru Rimpoche or Guru Padmasambhava, who first introduced Buddhism in Sikkim and through-out Himalayas in the 8th century. Dance drama enacting the eight manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava is held in Rumtek monastery.The important ‘chaam’ dance festival of Rumtek near Gangtok are those performed two days prior to the Tibetan New Year and that performed on the 10th day of the fifth month of the Tibetan calendar. This Tse Chu Chaam basically presents the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava.Padmasambhava( the lotus- born) was the Indian sage who was responsible for consolidating Buddhism in Tibet. He is also revered by the Sikkimese as Guru Rimpoche and during his travels he is suppose to have visited Sikkim. The dances in Rumtek celebrate the various episodes of his life and his battle against the forces of evil. The winter ‘chaams’ performed just prior to the Losar present the battle between good and evil and the ritualised destruction of evil. Rumtek monastery is 23km /40 minutes drive from Gangtok and is the seat of karma Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery was built by the 16th reincarnate Gyalwa Karmapa, after he escaped from Tibet and settled in Sikkim. The monastery is famous for its ‘chaams’ — the ritual lama dances as well as the stylized ‘opera’ performed by the lay people who live around the monastery

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