Huge and vibrant colour masks, absolutely traditional dresses, and men and women wearing gorgeous Ladakhi clothes, this is a common sight in many festivals of Ladakh. From the barren valleys of Leh to the serene mountains of Ladakh, locals celebrate many festivals that bring life to the valley even during gloomy winter.

Leh, which was the former capital of Ladakh, is now a district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This beautiful place is the second largest district in India, after Kutch in Gujarat. There’s ruined Leh Palace, which is the former mansion of Ladakh’s royal familly. And Ladakh is a land which has become extremely popular among solo backpackers and bikers. It is enveloped by snow covered peaks, treacherous roads, and difficult passes.

Leh and Ladakh are highly influced by Buddhist and Tibetan culture, which means there are plenty of festivals in these regions that include monastery celebrations. Although many festivals of Ladakh feature almost same type of celebrations that revolve around celebrating the beauty of life and rituals to keep evil powers away and welcome peace. Here’s a list of festivals that let the people of Ladakh celebrate life and love. check your calendar before you start searching for Ladakh tour packages for your upcoming trip.

1. Ladakh Festival

Ladakh-Festival

Among the most beautiful and grand festivals, Ladakh Festival takes place in the gorgeous land of Leh. It is celebrated on a large scale with a procession where different cultural troupes from various parts of Ladakh take part. The grand and colourful procession passes through Leh Market, which is accompanied by traditional music, merry dancing, while wearing traditional Ladakhi clothes. It is a 15-day long festival, which also include sports like Archery, different types of mask dances, and polo. Also, there’s a series of musical concerts in the town. People from India and all over the world especially come for this festival. It has been attracting a large number of crowd and has also improved tourist in Ladakh.

Key attractions: Take part in dancing, singing, and traditional music along with people in colorful traditional Ladakhi dresses. Indulge in a week-long festival that includes archery, polo, and masked dances from the monasteries. Enjoy musical concerts and dances by cultural troupes from the villages during festivals of Ladakh.

Ladakh festival 2019 date: 25th September – 28th September

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

2. Hemis Festival

Hemis-Festival

One of the most popular monastic festivals that is celebrated in Ladakh is Hemis festival.It brings back the colours in the other barren and deserted land. This festival, like any other festival is Ladakh marks the victory of good over evil. Right after the harsh and gloomy winter, this festival feels like a fresh and warm wave of air. It is celebrated with so much enthusiasm to celebrate the birth of Guru Padma Sambhava, who was the founder of Tantric Buddhism in the entire Tibet region. Monks perform a sacred and dramatic dance of life while wearing huge colourful masks and brocaded robes. An extremely huge painting of Guru Padma Sambhava is hung in the courtyard with other important and precious paintings of gurus. This amazing festival attracts thousands of tourists not only from India, but also from all over the world. It is the right time to visit Ladakh and learn about the culture and people of this happy land. If you are visiting Ladakh during this time, do not forget to add this festival to your travel package.

Key attractions: The highlight of the festival remains colorful masks and fine silk costumes worn by the dancers that represent guardian divinities to which Hemis belongs. Every dance move has relevance and depicts the magical feats of Padmasambhava – an 8th-century Indian Buddhist master – in his eight manifestations to defeat the enemies of Buddhism.

Hemis Tsechu 2020 date: 30th June – 1st July

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

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3. Sindhu Darshan

Sindhu-Darshan

Sindhu Darshan is a festival of Guru Purnima, which is yet another colourful festival of Ladakh. One can see the harmony and unity of different ethnic groups, and it is a great way to experience the life of the people of this beautiful land.

Ladakh is a land of beautiful landscapes, ancient monasteries, shimmering lakes, snow-covered peaks, serenity, and inner peace. If you are planning to explore this extremely mesmerizing place with your partner, then do checkout these Ladakh holiday packages save big and avoid any kind of hassle. You can share your Ladakh travel stories with other travelers to help them plan their own.

Key attractions: Enjoy the most colorful festival on the bank of the Sindh River on a full moon day. Attend a festival that symbolises communal harmony and unity in diversity in India and remember the glory of the ancient Indus Valley civilization. Join a prayer session on the riverbanks guided by 50 of the most senior lamas and indulge in sightseeing to enjoy the splendor of Ladakh. Enjoy cultural programs by renowned artists

Sindhu Darshan 2020 date: 12th June – 14th June

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

4. Dosmochey Festival

Dosmochey-Festival

Celebrated with great enthusiasm and fun in Leh, Deskit, and Liker monasteries, Dosmochey is one of the most popular festivals across Leh & Ladakh. In the vast courtyard of Leh Palace, this two-day festival is celebrated in the presence of the many monks. Each year, monks from different monasteries in Ladakh, perform Chams. This festival is celebrated at the end as well as in the beginning of Tibetan New Year. Monks from Takthok monastery make holy and complicated thread crosses that are believed to catch evil spirits and protect the people of Ladakh from natural calamities. The next day, monks bring out the offerings and then a walk across the town while people whistle to ward off evils.

Key attractions: The lamas from monasteries who are the experts in tantric practice and astrology prepare Thread Crosses – an offering that is believed to drive away all the evil spirits and demonic forces. Visit Liker monastery in Lower Ladakh) and Deskit monastery at Nubra Valley to attend the festival. Enjoy scared and traditional mask dance, shop for traditional items from the stalls at discounted rates and engage in various games

Dosmoche 2020 date: 21st February – 22nd February

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

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5. Matho Nagrang

Matho-Nagrang

Among the most popular and colourful festivals in India is Matho Nagrang. The festivals is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of Tibetan calendar. The Matho Nagrang festival is originally a festival of Matho monastery, which is the only monastery in the entire world of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a two-day long festival. During the festival, monks wear colorful masks and perform a unique dance. They also wear beautifully stitched colorful silk robes that represent various forms of Gods and Goddesses.

Key attractions: The return of the monks and the performances. Attend the most important festival of Tibetan Buddhism Sakya School. Enjoy mask dance performed by monks of the monastery.

Matho Nagrang 2020 date: 8th March – 9th March

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

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6. Stok Guru Tsechu

Stok-Guru-Tsechu

Stok village is located at a distance of about 20 km from south of Leh and is home to the royals of Ladakh. They tribute the oracles every year with a gala celebration. Stok Guru Tsechu is an annual festival, which is celebrated for two days on the 9th and 10th day of the first month of Tibetan Lunar calendar. During the festival, two men are dressed as oracles, who are prepared by monks to catch the spirits of god. This festival is celebrated in a tiny monastery, which is known as Gurphug. Stok Guru Tsechu is so important for the people of Ladakh that it is celebrated with great pomp, which involves the monks of Spituk monastery, who then perform sacred dances.

Key attractions: Pretty much on the lines of Matho Nagrang, the key attractions of Stok Guru Tsechu are the two commoners chosen by Lamas, who are properly cleaned and prepared to receive the spirit of the deities. Masked dances by the priests add to the frolic.

Stok Guru Tsechu 2020 date: 3rd March – 4th March

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

7. Losar

Losar

Losar is one of the most popular festivals in Ladakh. Celebrated to mark the onset of the New Year, it’s marked by various kinds of cultural events, rituals and exciting performances. The celebrations here are marked by the lightning of the holy fire, chanting of mantras and donning of colorful robes.

Key attractions: The highlights of this festivals are the stage fights between the god and the evil, as well as the Ibex deer dance. Witness the Tibetan customs and rituals during their New Year festival. Attend the religious ceremonies, reunion dinner, and blessed with good luck

Losar 2019 date: 27th December

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

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8. Yuru Kabgyat

Yuru-Kabgyat

Yuru Kabgyat is a two-day long festival, which is held in Lamayuru monastery. Like any other festival in Ladakh, here too, monks perform mask dances, do prayers, and follow other rituals to bring peace and harmony into thhe world. If you find yourself in Ladakh during Yuru Kabgyat festival, you must visit Lamayuru monastery to experience a festival you’ve never seen before. Also, if you’re someone who’s interested in understanding different culture, then be around during this time of the year.

Key attraction: The sacred ritual of the demolition of the statue to mark the liberation of the inner demons is the highlight of the festival. Get insights into Buddhism and learn the teachings of Buddha. Enjoy the mask dance by the lamas and witness the gigantic pipe reverberate in the monastery.

Yuru Kabgyat 2020 date: 18th June – 19th June

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

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9. Phyang Tsedup

Phyang-Tsedup

Phyang Tsedup is a festival that celebrates the teachings of Lord Buddha. Monks of Ladakh wear bright and beautiful robes and costumes and offer prayers. Drammas and Chammas are also performed during the festival.

Key attraction: Display of paintings inside the monastery. The limelight of the festival is the mask. View various messages of Lord Buddha displayed in the carnival. Explore the Buddhist artifacts in the superb festival. Take part in worshipping the Thankha of Jigten Gombo. Enjoy dance by the monks wearing rich silk costumes

Phyang 2020 date: 18th July – 19th July

(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

10. Thiksey Gustor

Thiksey-Gustor

Gustor is a two-day long festival, which starts with chanting of mantra. Later, monks who live in the monastery offer prayers to god. It is also celebrated to protect the natives of Ladakh to protect from evil.

Key attraction: The second day comprises of the sacred ritual performed by the ‘Black Hat Dancers’ and a dough cutting ceremony of the sacrificial cake. It marks the end of the festival proceedings.

Thiksey Gustor 2019 date: 15th November – 16th November
(The date of the festivals may change due to unpredictable reasons so it is suggested to reconfirm the date before booking your trip)

Celebrate popular festival of Ladakh with these customized Ladakh tour packages. Each of the package is designed in the way that you can truly enjoy the famous festivals in Ladakh.

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