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Hemis Festival - India Vacation Packages

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Hemis Festival

Hamis Festival The Hemis Festival is one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist Gompa festivals in Ladakh and is celebrated with lots of pomp and gaiety. The festival's venue is the Hemis Gompa located at a distance of 45 kilometres from Leh, the capital of Ladakh. This famous two -day monastic festival is held in the month of June to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet.

A Colourful Fair
This two-day colourful festival takes place from 9th to 11th. The sacred dance drama of the life and mission is performed wearing facial masks and colourful brocades robes. The sacred mask dances by the lamas and the monks depict the destroying of evil forces and the celebration of good over evil. The local people on this day get themselves dressed in colourful traditional attire. It also acquires the largest Thangkha (richly embroidered with pearls and semi-precious stones) in Ladakh, which is displayed, once in 12 years. Lamas offer contradictory explanations as to the meanings of these dance performances. Special musical instruments that is the three-meter long brass trumpets are played during these dance performances.

The ceremonies begin with an early morning ritual atop the Gompa where, to the beat of drums and the resounding clash of cymbals and the spiritual wail of pipes, the portrait of "Dadmokarpo" or "Rygyalsras Rimpoche" is then ceremoniously put on display for all to admire and worship.

The most esoteric of festivities are the mystic mask dances. The Mask Dances of Ladakh are referred collectively as chams Performance. Chams performance is essentially a part of Tantric tradition, performed only in those gompas which follow the Tantric vajrayana teachings and the monks perform tantric worship.

This festival has a special cultural significance, as this is one time of the year when almost all the families from the nearby villages visit the monastery for this festival. This festival serves as a forum for rural families to socialize. Men wear colourful cummerbunds and women wear bright headdresses and lots of jewellery.

Place - Leh, Ladakh
Starts -1st September
Finishes -15th September
Organised By - Government Of Ladakh
Best Season To Visit - June to August
Local Transport - car, taxis and jeeps

Getting There
In terms of air transport Leh is well connected with the other important places in India. Regular flights link Leh with Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar.

For road transport to Leh there are land routes connecting Leh with Srinagar and Manali. The Leh-Srinagar road is usually open from June to October, while the Leh-Manali route is open from July to September.

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