The Vivacity of Ladakh Hemis Festival

The Hemis Festival is one of the most vibrant and significant festivals celebrated in Ladakh, a region in the northernmost part of India. It takes place at the famous Hemis Monastery, which is located about 40 kilometers southeast of Leh, the capital of Ladakh. The festival is held annually to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, who founded Tibetan Buddhism in the 8th century.

Posted On : 28-7-2016
The Vivacity of Ladakh Hemis festival

The Hemis festival sees a congregation of lamas who come together to perform dances and plays in elaborately adorned masks and rich brocade attire. Amidst the reverberating sound of drums and cacophony of longhorns and cymbals the lamas, performances revolve around the battle between the good and the evil.

The Hemis monastery borrows its fame from this festival which is all about showcasing rich Indian tradition with pomp and show. It is by far one of the largest and the wealthiest monasteries in India.

The monasteries of Ladakh depict a beautiful amalgamation of Tibetan, Chinese and Indian Buddhism and this festival is a testimonial of the same. The highlight of Ladakh is the Hemis festival. Two days of galore and extravaganza, the city transforms itself into the land of joy, festivity laced with extravaganza.

Quite like other Indian festivals, this festival too celebrates the victory of good over evil. Looking at the historic facts related to this festival, in order to safeguard the people of the land, Guru Padmasambhava fought the evils and also founded Tibetan Buddhism. Hence as a mark of respect, the people of the land gather to celebrate his birth anniversary.

Hemis festival also is a tourist attraction for all those who want to witness Indian grandeur at its best and want to get a taste of the Indian festive spirit & culture.

It is also a time when trade in Ladakh flourishes and the cottage industries boom. Local populous pull-up stalls and organize exhibitions to sell handicrafts and souvenirs’. Also since the Hemis festival attracts a large tourist population, this is the best time for traders to showcase their products and increase business.

The highlight of the Hemis festival is the grand dance performance by the lamas who are bedecked with flashy attire and colorful masks. The spirit with which they perform the dances and other performances amidst heady spiritual music is a sight not to be missed.