Highlights : Annual Monastic Festivals
Main Festivals : Hemis, Losar and Ladakh
Other Festivals : Sindhu Darshan, Lamayuru Festival and Thiksey, Karsha
Destinations : Leh, Liker, Matho
|Major Attraction :||Hemis Festival, Ladakh Festival.|
|Best Time :||9th to 11th June For Hemis
1st to 3rd June For Sindhu Darshan.
1st to 15th September For Ladakh Festival.
February For Losar Festival.
|Festive Magic :||Dance Drama, Folk Songs and Dances, Musical Concerts.|
|Activities :||Archery and Polo championships.|
|Shopping :||Buy Handicrafts During The Hemis Festival.|
|Don't Miss :||Procession of the various cultural groups during the Ladakh festival.|
|Must See :||Shrines including Metal statues and Clay Statues, Thangkas and Wall Paintings at Lamayuru Monastery.|
Ladakh, Popularly known as the 'The Small Tibet', has the
influence of Buddhism and Tibetan culture. The reflections of these
cultures are very evident in their festivals. The best way to have a feel
of the Ladakhi culture, is to visit it during the festive seasons, when
this province of Jammu and Kashmir comes alive. These festivals acts a
junction to bring the people closer. Most of the festivals celebrated in
this region are the annual monastic festivals, which comprises
dance-dramas in the gompas courtyards by the 'lama' or the monks
themselves. The monks disguise themselves wearing comic masks, which
represents the various aspects of their religion, and is often appalling.
Most of the monastic conviviality go on for two days and draws the common masses as their spectators. The other festivals include the Losar or the New Year Celebration, which goes on for a period of a month, and the Ladakh festival, which is a two week celebration. Some of the favorite festivals of Ladakh are Hemis Thiksey, Karsha and Spituk Gustor.
To solemnize the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder
of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet, this festival is celebrated. It is one of
the most important festival celebrated for three days during the month of
June. It is a perfect time to buy handicrafts, as people from nook and
corner of Ladakh come to display and sell their handicrafts during this
time. During this fete, once in every 12 years, four-storey thanka(a
religious icon painted on cloth) of Guru Padma Sambhava is hung in the
courtyard along with other thankas. The next unveiling is due in 2016 A.D.
'Losar' is the Tibetan word for New Year, and falls in
the eleventh month of the Buddhist year. It is celebrated during winter
months. It is a sacred time for the Buddhists, a time for celebrations and
feast. During this festival Namchot people lighten their houses,
monasteries and mountains and make offerings. This festival lasts for
around a month where the deities, people and even animals are fed. This is
a very auspicious occasion which is relinquished by the children as well
as the elders of the family.
Another major festival of this region is Ladakh Festival,
celebrated during the month of September. It is celebrated in the Leh,
where processions by the various cultural troupes of Ladakh, in its
inaugural function. With traditional Ladakhi music and people wearing
colorful Ladakhi attires can be seen presenting folk dances on the street.
It goes on for fifteen days where programmes like archery, Polo, and mask
dances along with musical concerts and dances are performed. This festival
is the perfect blend of the culture tradition and the arts and handicrafts
of the region.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir, in collaboration
with the ministry of tourism and culture, introduced this festival in the
October 1997. This festival falls in the month of May or June and
celebrated exclusively in Leh. This festival is celebrated to acknowledge
river Indus as a symbol of harmony and peaceful co existence of the varied
cultures of our country. This festival also pays homage to all the gallant
soldiers who had given up their lives for their country.
There are many such colorful festivals that form a integral part of the Buddhist as well as the Tibetan culture. Some of the much celebrated festivals include Lamayuru, falling in July, Phiyang that takes place in July-August, Tak-thok, another festival which is held 12 days after Phiyang.
Top 5 Highlights of Ladakh Festivals
Festivals of The Gompas
The Fete of Life
Shop While You Make Merry
Enjoy The Parade
Participate In the Competition
Safari to Ladakh
The Taj and the
Mahal - White Wonder
Delhi - Eternal Capital
Sikri - City of Victory
- Out of The World
Rajasthan - Princely
State of India