Phongme Temple


Phongme Temple was built in the 17th century, later in 1911, Lt. Drungpa Lemja and the people of Phongme Gewog collaboratively extended the temple. With the introduction of Buddhism in Phongme in 1910, local Tshechu (9 mask dance) was introduced. During that time only Bardo Cham was performed.

Late on many mask dance like Peling Ging Sum(Dance of the Nyulema and the Three Kinds of Ging), Dramtse Nga Cham( Dance of drums) from Dramtse were also performed.

Dances are performed annually in Phongme Temple for 3-5 days. It is normally performed on the 13th day of the 8th month in Bhutanese calendar and is an occasion for the village people to gather round and partake in the festival occasion.

The religious dances are symbolic and have a common theme to get rid of evil spirits. The swords of the dances symbolize cutting thought ignorance while the drum drives away all malevolent evils and demons. Therefore, witnessing the dances is believed to remove sins and take one closer towards attaining nirvana or enlightenment.

Day 1 : Phang cham, Shingjay, Shazam, throchu, Zhana, Nyulem, Dhur dag, Peling ging sum.

Day 2 : Display of Throngdrel at 7.00AM,Shazam, Zhana Nga cham, Guru tshengyed(Dance of the 8 manifestation of Guru padmasambhava), tshoglen,Pholey Moley,Pa cham.

Day 3: Betsarya, Shinjay, Sha zam, Peling Zhana, Bardo Cham, Dramtse Nga Cham(The dance of the Drums)