We don’t need any reason to visit the land of glaciers, rocks, passes, monasteries which offers a spectacular view and if we get to witness the celebrated Hemis festival it will be a bonus. It’s a popular religious festival attended by myriad visitors every year. The Hemis monastery is the largest Tibetan one in Ladakh where the birthday of their spiritual leader Guru Padmasambhava is marked with the celebration.
The 200 years old colourful Hemis festival was first started with the hands of Ladakh’s reigning family and the carnival has never lost its charm in last two centuries. The colourful two-day carnival starts on the 10th day of the Tibetan Lunar month Tse Chu. According to their belief, the birth anniversary of the spiritual leader is the reincarnation of Lord Buddha. The iconic Guru Padmasambhava fought against demons to bring peace to the common people and showed them the path to obtain peace of mind spiritually.
This year between 14th-15th July the Hemis Gompa, the courtyard will host the massive gathering. Countless native people along with the visitors will join to be a part of the traditional fest. This is also considered to be the main attraction for tourists from different countries. Such grandeur is barely seen in the mountain land. The huge monastery appears like a bright hall decorated with flowers, flags and curtains. Music comes from drums, cymbals, trumpets making a traditional tune.
One of the key attractions of the occasion is the silk ‘Thangka’ of their trusted Guru Padmasambhava but it is seen once in 12 years. The two storey high auspicious Thangka is carefully decorated with an intricate embroidery work with pearls and shining stones. This year the famous sacred painting will be displayed along with other notable handicrafts.
Once the programme is announced in the presence of lamas there starts mask dance. It’s a play with a meaningful storyline that grabs the attention of the audience. Multihued masks on performers represent different mythical characters. The vibrant fair is the hub of hawkers selling traditional items, jewelleries, hats, good luck charms, ancient weapons and lots more to allure us.
So, this time, if you around don’t miss the pulsating fiesta in Ladakh.