Table of Contents
  Index
  Ladakh
- Economy
- Recreation
- Wildlife
- Vegetation
- Religion
- Festivals
- Dress and Ornaments
- The Road Journey
- Treks
- A Picture Gallery
  Kargil
- A Picture Gallery
  Drass
  Suru Valley
  Zanskar
  Kashmir: Poetry of Nature
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An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

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Festivals Galore

Apart from being the spiritual hub of all social activities, the monasteries are also the centres of Ladakh's cultural. The religious fervour of the people finds expression in the annual festivals celebrated here. These generally follow the lunar calendar and therefore their dates vary from year to year. One of the festivals which is famous and celebrated with zest is the Hemis festival. Hemis is the biggest monastery of Ladakh and the spiritual centre of Buddhists. People from all over Ladakh come to attend this two day long festival. The festival is preceded by seven days of prayers by the monks in the monastery. The most impressive part of the festival is the famous mask dance which lamas of the monastery perform continuously for two days. The masks represent various gods and demons. The whole festival signifies the triumph of good over evil. The day marks the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of the red sect.


Lamas wearing terrifying masks at the Lamayuru festival

Festival Calendar

Leh Gompa End January-early February
Stok Gompa Early-mid February
Matho Gompa End February-early March
Lamayuru Gompa End April-early May
Hemis Gompa End June-early July
Phyang Gompa Early to end July
Thikse Gompa Mid July to early August
Spitak Gompa Early to mid January
Festival of Ladakh 1st week of August

Note: The dates of festivals are based on the lunar calendar. Therefore they vary in relation to the Gregorian calendar from year to year.


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