Jamphel Lhakhang Drub

Jamphel Lhakhang Drub

Venue: Jampa Lhakhang (Bumthang) grounds
Places you will visit: Western and Central Bhutan.
Entry : Paro
Exit: Paro

Jamphel Lhakhang (Temple) is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, built along with Paro Kyichu in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Goempo. It is said that 108 temples were built within a day by the King, across the Himalayan region.

While there are several Chhams (mask dances), The Naked Dance of Jamphel Lhakhang Drub is one of the most unique amongst scared mask dances held around the country. At midnight, 16 naked men perform the sacred dance, which has its origins in the 8th century.

It is said that the dance was first held in Nabji Korphu in Trongsa by the great treasure discoverer, Tertoen Dorji Lingpa, on the prophecy of Guru Rinpoche. Like several dances, this has a story, too.

Legend has it that a band of devils were obstructing the construction of a Lhakhang (Temple) in Nabji Korphu, delaying the work. As a ruse and to distract the devils, Terton Dorji Lingpa launched the naked dance. It served the purpose as the outrageous antics of the naked performers during the dance kept the devils spellbound. The construction was thus completed. The dance reached Jamphel lhakhang as Terton Dorji Lingpa also consecrated Jampa lhakhang.

This dance is performed by selected men from the four villages of Jampa lhakhang, Nobgang, Changwa and Nashphey.

Another speciality of the Festival is the performance of the fire dance.

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