phang-lhabsol

Pang Lhabsol festival is unique festival popularised by the third Chogyal of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal. In this festival dedicated to Mt. Khangchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim and to Yabdu, the supreme commander of Mount Khangchendzonga. It is staged in front of the Tsuklakhang monastery in the former palace compound in Gangtok. This festival also marks the signing of the treaty of blood brotherhood between the Lepchas and Bhutias by Khye Bumsa and Tetong Tek when the local deities were invoked to witness the occasion.

In fact Phang means witness. On this day, the guardian deity is portrayed by masked Lama dances as a fiery red-faced deity with a crown of five skulls, riding a snow lion. To lighten the mood of the spectators, jesters called ‘Atchars’ play antics during the Chaams. The third Chogyal of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal is credited for choreographing the Pang-Toed dance performed by monks on this day.