Event: A five-day Akhanda Maha Yagya (a major special religious event) will begin tomorrow at the Shivalaya Mandir in Samtse to celebrate the first Birth Anniversary of HRH the Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.

The prayer ceremony will end on February 5 coinciding with the First Birth Anniversary of HRH the Gyalsey.

The event is being organised by the Hindu Dharma Samudaya of Bhutan (HDSB) and the Lhotsham communities. According to a press release from HDSB, such a special prayer ceremony is being held in Bhutan for the first time.

Three senior Pundits – Bhakti Ram Rijal, Madhav Adhikari, and Swami Vivekananda Saraswati – will lead 108 priests from across the country during the prayer ceremony.

The ceremony will start coinciding with Shree Panchami or Vasanta Panchami, a popular annual Hindu festival marked to worship Saraswati Mata, the Goddess of wisdom and music. Shree Panchami marks the arrival of spring when farmers start planting summer crops like potato and maize.

Besides chanting of holy mantras (religious verses), the priests will conduct the fire offering (Homadi) for the five days. A large number of devotees are expected to participate in the Mantra Jaap (prayers chanting with beads).

The event is being coordinated by Samtse dzongkhag administration together with dzongkhags of Chukha, Dagana, Samdrupjongkhar, Sarpang and Tsirang and with the support of prominent members of Lhotsham communities.

Shivalaya Mandir was constructed following the command of His Majesty The King. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on February 6 last year.

Staff Reporter