Ladakh, the cold and stunning region in the north of India is on the bucket list of millions of people across the planet and why not? Its picturesque landscape looks like nothing less than a postcard! However, there is something that makes the awe-inspiring region even more interesting; the Ladakhi Hemis festival.
The festival is celebrated to mark the birth of local savior Lord Padmasambhava. The Hemis Jangchub Choling monastery is located approximately 45 kms from Leh, the capital city of Ladakh and attracts people from all over the world to be a part of the festivities. The vibrant festival showcases an amalgamation of dance, music and prayers topped with incredible masked performances.
You will get immersed in the beauty of colours that will impart immense peace and joy to your soul. The otherwise quaint and rugged landscape of Ladakh turns vibrant and chaotic during this monastery festival.
The Hemis Festival’s origins go back to the 8thCentury. Lord Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rimpoche was the local savior who banished all evil spirits and demons from the region. He was also responsible for introducing Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan Kingdom, thereby combining the teachings of both, Buddhism and Tibetan culture.
The enthralling dance performances and the wonderful plays by masked Lamas are worth all your time. The meaning behind the masked dances is quite metaphoric in the sense that it represents the fact that good always wins over evil. The participants are adorned with vibrant and colourful costumes coupled with elaborate masks that represent both good and evil. The masks are crafted as divine faces, skeletons and animals.
The dancers are extremely talented and exhibit fluid dance moves with mesmerizing expressions. The famous Padmasambhava dance is the highlight of all the dance shows. All the wonderful performances are breathtaking and will introduce you to your spiritual side.
The Vibrant Culture:
The dances are not all. There is so much more to see and indulge in when you are at the Hemis Festival in Ladakh. When you visit it in 2017, ensure that you visit all the stalls that are inside as well as outside the monastery. You will not only get a chance to savour the mountain’s delicious delights but will also be able to get your hands on unique and intricately designed handicrafts of the region. You will also be able to meet people from different walks of life here. Be it the local villagers or photographers, all these travellers and explorers can be found at the Hemis Festival in Ladakh.
The date of this festival changes every year since it is celebrated on the tenth day of the Lunar calendar according to the Tibetan month. In 2017, the festival will be celebrated on 3rd and 4th of July which is a fairly good time to visit Ladakh anyway since the harsh winters have already bid this region adieu. It will not be unbearably cold. Instead, it will be quite pleasant and if you are from a hot region, this is the best place to be in to beat the heat and embrace a colourful culture.
With so many interesting things to do and witness in the spectacular land of Ladakh, there is no way you should be missing any opportunity to get here during the festival. There will be so many experiences and memories that you will create. If you are someone who wishes to witness the exquisite sights while also experiencing the beauty of colours and culture, then the Hemis Festival is certainly for you. So, get going because it is time book your flights and trains already!