Architecture of Bhutanse House

'Mewang' fire ceremony and 'Tercham' a religious dance during the festivals

Jambay lhakhang is located in Bumthang and is situated on the way to the Kurjie Lhakhang. It’s a ten minutes drive to the temple from the Chamkhar town.

Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. It was founded by, Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King in the 7th century AD.  The king was destined to build 108 temples known as Thadhul- Yangdhul (temples on and across the border) in a day to subdue the demoness that was residing in the Himalayas. The temple is one of the two of the 108 built in Bhutan. A second is located in Paro, the Kichu lhakhang also built on the same day.

Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche visited the site several times and deemed it exceptionally sacred. Chakhar Gyab, the king of the Iron Castle of Bumthang renovated the temple in the 8th century AD.

The first king of Bhutan,  Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck constructed the Dus Kyi Khorlo (Kala Chakra- Wheel of Time) inside the temple, to commemorate his victory over his rivals Phuntsho Dorji of Punakha and Alu Dorji of Thimphu after the battle of Changlimithang in 1885. Later, Ashi Wangmo, the younger sister of the second king of Bhutan, built the Chorten lhakhang.

The main relics include the future Buddha, Jowo Jampa (Maitreya) from whose name the present name of the temple is derived. The lhakhang also houses more than one hundred statues of the gods of Kalachakra built by the first king, in 1887.

One of the most spectacular festivals in the country, called Jambay lhakhang Drup is hosted here. The festival lasts for five days (check with your tour operator to confirm these dates). The highlight of the festival is the fire ritual that is held in the evening where crowds gather to witness the ritualistic naked dance.

The festival is held for duel reasons; to commemorate an establishment of Jambay Lhakhang (temple) in 7 th century and to honor Guru Rimpoche, a saint who introduced Tantric form of Buddhism in Bhutan . A variety of traditional and mask dances are performed and each dance bear significant meaning/importance.

This festival is one of the most important in Bhutan and its high light is the 'Mewang" - the fire ceremony and the " Tercham" - a religious dance. A fire dance is held in the evening to bless infertile women so that they may bear children.

The festival dances were composed mostly by Terton Pema Lingpa, the great treasure discoverer of the 15th century.

Festival Schedule
Day 01 
First evening's program begins around 07.00 pm, with the "Jinsi" the burning of the sacred fire. 
Shana Cham with Ging Cham 
Tseking Karna 
Tshok Cham 
Mewang (the sacred fire ceremony) 

Day 02 
Begins around 9.30 in the morning with a "chipdrel" traditional reception.
- the Astara (clown) welcomes the audience and the marchang ceremony.
- Mask dances begin 
Shinji Yab Yum 
Youelem 
Peling Ging Sum - Driging, Juging, Ngaging 
Durda Cham 
Lunch break at 01.00 pm. After lunch the dances resume:- 
Jachung and Boechung dance 
Pacham 

Day 03 
Atsara (clown) dance Dola Pangtoy 
Shazam 
Shana Phurcham with Durda 
Shana Ngacham 
Lunch break 
Ging & Tsholing Cham (the dance of the sacred war between the Gods and the Demons) 
Tsecho Gingcham (Tercham) 
Damitse Ngacham (The famous drum beat dance originating from Dramitse) 
Pholey Moley Cham 

Day 04 

Chungtsam Cham 
Gicham 
Dorling Ngacham (Tercham of Terchen Dorjilingpa) 
Raksha Gocham 
Lunch Break. 
Raksha Mangcham (this dance symbolizes Life after death, at the court of the Lord of the Dead.) 
Ten Wang (Blessings from the sacred statue of Terton Dorjilingpa)

Contact details

Ar-ring Tours and Treks

Olakha Thimphu,   

Bhutan 

Contact # : 00975 17612201

tdorjiinsb@gmail.com