Royal bash for Lepchas

Kalimpong, Dec. 20: The 274th birth anniversary of Pano Gaeboo Achyok was celebrated today amid huge pomp and fanfare.

According to the Lepchas, Achyok was their last king and members of the community had come from across the district western Bhutan, Sikkim and other parts of India to join the festivities.

Organised by the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association in collaboration with the Central government-run Indira Gandhi National Museum of Mankind, the celebrations included a host of cultural programmes, an awards ceremony, an archery competition and the release of three Lepcha books.

The celebrations started early in the morning with the Lepchas offering prayers to Gaeboo Achyok at Damsang Fort, 20 km from here. The fort is believed to have been built by Achyok.

The rest of the programme was held at lower Bong bustee. The programme, which is being held annually since 1982, was conducted entirely in the Lepcha language.

Later, a local band, Alain, played popular modern songs to regale the crowd.

One thought on “Royal bash for Lepchas

  1. Bidhan Acharya

    It is good to know that the 274th birth anniversary of Pano Gaeboo Achyok was celebrated amid huge pomp and fanfare.
    But i would like to make a point. The Damsang Fort is one is one hell of a historical gem that we have out there. What i do not understand is that, why can’t the fort be excavated? More than half of the the fort is buried underground. I myself have visited the site many times. I don’t think that a site of such historical importance should be ignored. We would be able to learn so much from it.
    From what i have heard and know about this ‘excavation issue’ is that there are a lot of superstitions regarding the Damsang Fort. I have heard many a times from the elders of the local community saying “we should leave the place undisturbed”.
    I do not mean to be offensive against anyone but it just makes me sad to know as to why we are hesitant, to dig up our own history.
    We could learn so much.


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