Ladakh is a wonderful place to visit, with its glorious culture and the most breathtaking landscapes. Whether you are planning a trip with your friends or your family, Ladakh is the perfect destination. Words can not describe the feeling you get as you experience the serenity of this place. And it gets even better if you get to join in on the amazing festivals. Festivals give you a great insight into the people and the culture of this beautiful place. The best time to visit Leh Ladakh would be during one of these festivals.
They add more value and a splash of color to the already awe inspiring landscapes. The land of high passes has a rich culture and people from all over India come to participate in the festivals and people from all over the world come to witness the wonderful phenomenons. Festivals bring people together and you can be a part of the community in Ladakh and share their culture.
While every festival in Ladakh is unique and something special, here is a list of five festivals that you just can not ignore. Make sure to be a part of the amazing cultural experience on your next trip to Ladakh.
- Losar Festival
Celebrated by the Buddhist community of Ladakh, this 15 day festival ranks amongst the biggest festivals of Ladakh. Celebrated all over the region, the Losar festival marks the first day of the 11 months of the Tibetan calendar.
Losar means ‘new year’ and that is what the Buddhists celebrate. Starting either in December or January, a trip during the Losar festival would be the best time to visit Leh Ladakh. The Losar festival originated in the 15th century and it is one of the most noted festivals in Ladakh.
- Ladakh Harvest Festival
Celebrated in the beautiful weather of September, Ladakh Harvest festival is another 15 day festival that celebrates the rich heritage and culture of Ladakh. You would witness ceremonial costumes, music and dances which shine with the brightest smiles on the people’s faces.
Every year from 1st to 15th September, Ladakh Harvest festival is celebrated, marking the beginning of harvest season. Starting with a procession in Leh, the two weeks festival is colorful and rich with Ladakh’s cultural history. The chilly weather becomes bearable amongst the flamboyant colors of the festival and you would find yourself dancing to the beats of the music.
- Hemis Tsechu Festival
Commencing in the beautiful weather of July, Hemis Tsechu is a two day festival celebrating the birth of the sage Padmasambhava also known as Guru Rimpoche. For two days, on 8th and 9th July, Hemis Gompa, the largest and richest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh, lights up with hundreds of colors as the monks pay respect to and honor the sage.
The ‘Tibetan year of the monkey’ falls every 12 years, making the celebration even more special. On your visit to Leh Ladakh this summer, make sure you prepare yourself for the awesome Hemis Tsechu festival.
- Matho Nagrang Festival
Celebrated on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar, Matho Nagrang is a colorful two day festival which is held in the Matho monastery. Matho monastery is a monastery of the Sakya school of Tibetan buddhism in Ladakh.
The monks dress up in colorful silk brocade robes and wear masks representing different Gods and Goddesses as they dance in the courtyard of the monastery. Accompanying the monks are two oracles who predict the future of the Matho monastery and Ladakh and its people for the next year.
Being present at this wonderful ceremony is a blessing you do not want to pass upon.
- Tak Tok Festival
Held in the month of July and August, Tak Tok festival is celebrated at a cave of the Tak Tok Gompa. It is ranked amongst the most important festivals of Ladakh and it attracts tourists from all over the place. As one of the major festivals of Ladakh, it is also one of the main tourist attractions in the summer.
Enjoy the popular masked dances, witness the many cultural programmes which are organized throughout the day and you day right, with a feast that will not only fill your stomach but also your soul.