Cham dance

  • It is a masked dance unique to Tibetan Buddhism.
  • In this Buddhist monks with colourful costumes dance to the sounds of traditional instruments.
  • The dance in itself is seen as a form of meditation and mostly practised during festivals like Losar in Buddhist monastries.
  • It is considered an act of cleansing evil forces.
  • The dance ritual of Cham is practiced till date in Himalayas, especially in places where Tibetan Buddhism prospered in India- Ladakh, Dharamshala, Lahaul Valley, Spiti Valley & Sikkim, and Bhutan and Tibet.
  • Padma Sambhava (Guru Rinpoche) the founder of Nyingmapa is believed to have started the Cham Dance tradition to subjugate the local demons that were obstructing the building of the first monastery in Tibet, Samye.
    • He also introduced Tantric Buddhism to Tibet.
  • The dance often depicts scenes of Padmasambhava’s life and his 8 manifestations.
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