Table of Contents
  Index
  Maps
  Kashmir: Poetry of Nature
  Srinagar
  Places of Worship
  Places of Tourist Interest
  Kashmir's Resorts
  Gardens and Parks
  Handicrafts
  Glimpses: A Cultural Heritage
  Adventure Sports
  Wildlife
  Amarnath Cave
  Jammu
  Ladakh
  Kargil
  Drass
  Suru Valley
  Zanskar
  A Picture Gallery
Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Glimpses: A Cultural Heritage

Festivals

A time of joy, a time to celebrate, and there's an expression for every mood. Whether personal celebrations, or religious and social festivals, merrymaking and dancing are essential to them all.


The grand spectacle of the annual Hemis festival

The annual dance-drama festival is celebrated all over Ladakh, and though best known at Hemis, is not exclusive to it. A much-celebrated event for the religious Buddhist Ladakhis, it is held on the birthday of Guru Padma-sambhava, a Buddhist missionary who spread the message of Lord Buddha in the Himalayan region. At Hemis, this July fest is held in the courtyard of the monastery and masked participants of the dance-drama are the major attraction. Successive troupes of lamas dressed in flowing, exquisite brocade robes and papier mache masks whirl in the constricted space to the tune of drums and oboe pipes.

In Jammu & Kashmir regions major festivals celebrated include the Sout or spring festival in March, Naw Warih on new year's day in March-April, Baisakhi, Jeth Ashtami, Har Nawami, Pun, Janmashtami, Kambari Pach and Dusserah, each with merrymaking and dance, and the observance of prescribed rituals.

Idd is celebrated with great eclat, new clothes are worn and the devout attend prayer meetings at mosques. Beyond the mosques, open grounds become fairs, and food and souvenir stalls spring up and do brisk business. It is said of Kashmir Hindus and Muslims "equally holding in reverence Hindu shrines and Muslim Khanqahs situated closely or almost in the same precints". Notable examples of this are the great Khanqah of Shah Hamdan, Kali Temple, Shah Sahib's Mosque, Ziyarat-i-Makhdoom Sahib, Hari Parbat and Madin Sahib.

Kashmir: Poetry of Nature Glimpses
 

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