The most important festival is the 2-day Hemis Festival that takes place at the Hemis Monastery. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava (founder of Tibetan Buddhism). Once every 12 years, the Monastery hosts the ritual unfurling of a giant Thangka (Buddhist religious mural) depicting Padmasambhava, which is richly embroidered with pearls and semi-precious stones. The highlight of the festival are the masked dances, called chhams performed by the lamas dressed in bright robes and elaborate head-gear, to the accompaniment of cymbals, drums and long horns. A special highlight of this festival is the exquisite handicrafts display. These 'devil dances' depict the victory of good over evil and are marked by the consumption of bowls of chang, Ladakh's country liquor.
Celebrated in September, Ladakh Festival is organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism. It is one of the best times to enjoy this cultural extravaganza, and is marked by folk dances, polo and archery and exotic display of art and handicrafts exhibits. Dosmoche Festival or the Festival of the Scapegoat is celebrated in late February. During this festival, a great wooden mast is erected and dough figures are cast into the desert. These scapegoats carry away with them the evil spirits of the old year, and thus the town is cleansed and made ready to welcome the New Year.
Losar Festival is celebrated in December or January, and is a spectacular event that heralds the Ladakhi/Tibetan New Year. Running well over 2 weeks, the festival holds ancient rituals, the dance of the Ibex deer, stage fights, chanting and passing through the crowds with fire torches.
Top Hotels in Leh Ladakh
- Dorje Guest House
- Yangphel Guest House
- Sangto Green Guest House
- Hotel Dragon
- Ladakh Himalayan Retreat
Top Landmarks in Leh Ladakh
- Hotels Near Pangong Lake
- Hotels Near Leh Main Market
- Hotels Near Khardungla Pass
- Hotels Near Hemis Thiksey Satana Monastery
- Hotels Near Thiksey Monastery