Ladakh has forever been a ‘must see’ destination, for me. Personally, I haven’t yet had the chance to visit this place. But from what I have heard, seen and read, this place is simply magical. It is an ex-kingdom of the Buddhists, surrounded by the Himalayas, kept away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Some of the most breath-taking gompas (Tibetan Buddhist monasteries) can be found here on almost every nook and corner. Each with a very exquisite design and architecture narrating its story. People who have been to Ladakh, often tell me with a smile, “you have to be there to believe and feel the place.”
Being at a high altitude, acclimatisation is required before going out to explore the place. Now, Ladakh like any other place in the world, has its share of festivals and celebrations throughout the year. One such popular cultural festival is just round the corner – Hemis Festival, which will be celebrated on the 14th and 15th July, 2016. The date changes every year as it is celebrated on the tenth day of the lunar calendar of the Tibetan month. It is a two day festival celebrated in the honour of Guru Rimpoche also known as Lord Padmasambhava’s, birth anniversary. People call him the local saviour who introduced Tibetan Buddhism, during the 8th century.
The highlight of the festival are the dance performances and the plays by the masked lamas, which represents the good over evil. Everyone is dressed in bright coloured clothes and masks while making merry. The Hemis Gompa, which is the largest and richest Buddhist monastery, is the host of this celebration. There are several stalls to look out for inside and outside the monastery, consisting of delicious traditional food and handicrafts made by the locals. It is quite a delight to see people, gather from all across the globe to be a part of this festival.
Definitely something to add to my bucket list this year.