Come summer, and the cold desert region of Ladakh gets ready from a harsh and long winter. This is the time when tourists from far of places come here to trek, enjoy river-rafting, Climb Mountains, and get awe-struck by some of the most splendid examples of Indo-Tibetan culture. If you plan to visit Ladakh during the summer , then you shouldn’t miss the charm of the most famous of all monastic festivals – the Hemis Festival that commemorates the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet.
Hemis Festival is conducted at the Hemis Gompa, which is one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh. Hemis shelters more than 500 monks and, during the festival, plays host to thousands of devotees, tourists and local villagers. The two-day festivity is marked by prayers and the display of ancient Thangka (religious painting), which is the oldest treasure housed at Hemis. Throughout the festival, ancient and customary dances are performed by masked monks. The dances are accompanied by drums, cymbals, and trumpets, in which the triumph portrays the good over evil.
During this Hemis festival, shopkeepers and hawkers set up stalls outside the monastery, selling a huge range of wares which carters to the crowds of tourists coming to witness and enjoy the festival.
This year the festival takes place on the 18th and 19th of June. To help you plan your trip to Ladakh during Hemis festival, below is our quick guide on itinerary for the trip.
To reach the place by flight, book your air tickets to Leh Airport. After a tiresome flight , you can choose to relax the entire day and late in the evening take a visit at the Leh palace, Leh market, Shanti Stupa and hall of fame.
Witness the glorious spectacle of the region and religion of Buddhism and Ladakh. Consider buying souvenir from the market installed specially for the occasion. Also visit the Shey Gompa, which happens to be the ancient capital of Thiksey Gompa and Ladakh.
Pangong Lake (320 km)
After an early breakfast, you can leave for Pangong Lake (14,500 ft), through Changla Pass 17,350 ft, which happens to be the third highest motorable road in the world. It is to be noted that Pangong it is the biggest salt water lake in the world, which is shared by two countries China and India. You will certainly enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of the lake while appreciating serenity and tranquility of the lake. Late in the evening you can drive back to Leh by the same route.
Khardungla top (18,380 ft.)
The next day you can reserve a cab for Khardung la, which is the biggest motorable road in the world and is 39 kms from Leh. Relish and enjoy the splendid views from the top and then return to the hotel for mouthwatering hot lunch. Later in the evening you can visit the market to pick few gifts for near and dear ones.
Every region has its own specialty, a unique way to celebrate its culture and religion. It is indeed a pleasure to witness these celebrations that are celebrated in different parts of our country. Hemis festival depicts the culture of, Leh and the tremendous victory of truth over evil.
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