Jambay Lhakhang Festival in Jakar

The Jambay Lhakhang Festival was another great event that was not on our itinerary.  It was wonderful how Lakey made these things happen. The itinerary for this day called for a drive from Tang to Trongsa with a stop at the Burning Lake. But we had already done the Burning Lake 4 days earlier when we also spent a fantastic unplanned morning in Phomdrong.  This was the final day of the festival in Jakar so we took advantage of the opportunity and spent almost 2 hours watching masked dancers and photographing the brightly clothed people in the Jambay Lhakhang temple grounds.

We managed to find a parking spot very near the entrance, an amazing feat Kencho pulled off. I got out of the car and photographed a group heading to the temple from the opposite direction of Jakar town.  At the entrance were prayer flags, and as our fantastic trekking guide and good friend from Nepal, Chhongba, says, “Oh, mommy take me home”.  {Om Mani Paeme Hum,  ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པདྨེ་ཧཱུྂ༔ }

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This is the Tsechu Festival to honor Guru Rimpoche, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, and to depict the story of how good conquers evil.

The young women were lining up for a traditional dance.

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They were soon replaced by male masked dancers.

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The chilips with their cameras — I should talk — were out in force.

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But the crowd of locals far outnumbered them, fortunately.

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Can you find Stephen in the photo above? Perhaps the piece on the left below will help.

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Here is a panoramic photo of the crowd that you can zoom into and explore. You can double click on the image to zoom way in and use the left mouse to pan around. You can also use the + and – keys to zoom and the arrow keys to scroll. Please wait for the resolution to download.

There were people sitting on the wall of the temple compound watching from there. They were backed by white vertical prayer flags.

You can double click on the image to zoom way in and use the left mouse to pan around. You can also use the + and – keys to zoom and the arrow keys to scroll. Please wait for the resolution to download.

I was photographing madly away knowing I had little time to capture all the color and sights all around me. Pretty young women and sleeping babies without a care in the world.

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I wandered out of the temple grounds to the market stalls that had been set up nearby. They were selling everything from masks, to clothes, to appliances.

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But the most popular vendor seemed to be the one selling cotton candy.

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The young boys at the festival were definitely worth photographing.

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As were the young girls.

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A long line was forming to go into the temple.

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In fact the line was very very long. Below is a greater than 360 degree panorama of the line. The end of the line is to the right of the trees. It continues at the far left of the image and works its way into the temple in the center.

You can double click on the image to zoom way in and use the left mouse to pan around. You can also use the + and – keys to zoom and the arrow keys to scroll. Please wait for the resolution to download.

There were several men in masks working the crowds for donations, presumably for the temple.

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Some young kids were enjoying themselves while the festival continued.

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Below are two large panoramic images of the crowd that you can zoom into and explore.

You can double click on either image to zoom way in and use the left mouse to pan around. You can also use the + and – keys to zoom and the arrow keys to scroll. Please wait for the resolution to download.


Here is the first of two slide shows of people at the festival.

Here are more photos of celebrants at this colorful festival in Jakar.