Bhum Chu to be heldwithout devotees today


PRITAM LAMA

Gyalshing, 26 Feb: Bhum Chu, the annual sacred ritual held at Tashiding Monastery in West Sikkim which draws a large number of devotees from Sikkim and outside will not receive any devotees this year.

The monastery’s management committee informed that while the ceremony (Bhumdrup) will be conducted in the monastery on 27 Feb, no devotees will be allowed in the monastery’s premises

this time. The ceremony will be conducted by monks and on the midnight of the main day, the holy

vase will be opened in the presence of officials from the state government and representatives

of the monk body. Thereafter, the vase will be sealed again after being emptied out and replaced

with fresh water from Rathong Chu. The decision to keep devotees away was taken in view of the COVID-19 pandemic by the monastery’s management committee after consultations with the zindags (patrons), West district administration and the Ecclesiastical Department. “We have decided not

to distribute the blessed water (Bhumchu) this year considering the Covid pandemic and safety of all. Bhum Chu is an international event where thousands of devotees from Sikkim and neighbouring countries of Bhutan and Nepal come. It is not possible to maintain social distancing,” said the committee.

The committee further pointed out that some foreign nations and some parts within India are imposing lockdown again due to rise in coronavirus cases. In this scenario, the monastery committee

thought it would be appropriate not to celebrate Bhum Chu in the traditional grand manner as it

may pose risk to the devotees, said the committee.