In Pictures: Bumchu Festival Of Tashiding Monastery

In Pictures: Bumchu Festival Of Tashiding Monastery
Buddhist monks walk past prayer flags at the Tashiding monastery in Sikkim, Photo Credit: Anandoart / Shutterstock

Bumchu Festival is one of the biggest festivals of Sikkim

OT Staff
February 28 , 2023
02 Min Read

The Tashiding Monastery in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim hosts the annual Bumchu Festival every year. The celebration is founded on the idea that the amount of water in a sacred pot stored on the main altar of the monastery foretells what will happen to the area in the following year. During the night before the celebration, the pot is sealed and filled with water. The pot is cracked open on the festival day in front of the monastery's high lamas and monks.

One of Sikkim's most major festivals, the Bumchu festival is a significant occasion for the state's Buddhist population. The celebration, which has been observed for generations, is a wonderful chance for people to gather together and celebrate their heritage and culture.


Bhumchu Festival held here, on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar, is one of the biggest festivals of Sikkim. Bhum means a pot or vase and Chu means water. The divine vase (associated with the memory of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche) is filled with water from the Rathong River and kept in the monastery. It is brought out for public viewing during the festival and its contents checked by the lamas. It is believed that the quality and the quantity of the stored water is an indication how Sikkim will fare in the following year. If you plan to visit during this time, be prepared for a long walk up as cars are halted way below.

It is said that monks make predictions for the year by studying the level of water in the pot. If the vase is full, the year shall be prosperous. If low, famine is imminent. When dusty, an ominous year of strife and discord is predicted.

The atmospheric Tashiding Gompa can be best accessed by a 2.5-km track uphill from Tashiding. The beautiful four-storey main hall of the monastery affords wonderful views across the flower garden towards Ravangla. Past the monastic buildings is a compound containing several white chortens, including the one called Thongwa Rangdol, which is said to absolve devotees of their sins if they simply look at it.

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