Khampa Gar traditional ritual dance (cham). (Phayul file photo)
DHARAMSHALA, March 20: His Eminence the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee will be the Chief Guest at the Annual Traditional Tsechu Chenmo Cham in Khampa Gar at Tashijong, a Tibetan refugee camp in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
The weeklong festival (March 22-27) begins on the 10th day of the 2nd Tibetan lunar month and will ends on 15th. Jagat Singh Negi, Deputy Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly, Ravi Thakur, Member of Legislative Assembly from Lahaul Spiti and Kishori Lal, Member of State Legislative Assembly, will also attend the festival.
According to Roshan Lal Negi, over a thousand of disciples from Ladakh, Kullu, Manali, Lahaul and other areas will come for the religious festival, and about four hundred foreign disciples are also expected to attend the ceremony.
This year’s annual Tsechu Cham or religious dance marks the 300th years since this Khampa Gar traditional sacred dance began in 1712.
The sacred dance or cham will depict the manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava, the great Indian Buddhist teacher who taught Buddhism in Tibet, and his deeds.
As a part of the weeklong festival, the Government of Himachal Pradesh will facilitate Tashi Jong Tibetan Settlement and some of the people involved in its initiative to make it the only tobacco-free camp in the state.
Khampa Gar Monastery has around 400 monks and was founded by the Eighth Khamtrul Rinpoche Dongyu Nyima (1931-1980) in the late 1950s after his coming into exile. Tashi Jong, where the monastery is located, is about 40 km from Dharamshala.