Festivals of Ladakh


Monastery Festivals of Ladakh

Culture and traditions are something that make a place unique. Festivals are the best opportunities to get a glimpse of the culture of any region.
Come and immerse yourself in the culture of Tibetan Buddhism, experience the lifestyle of the people belonging to the land of high passes and ancient monasteries.

The most important festivals of Ladakh are :

    Hemis Festival
    Ladakh Festival
    Korzok Gustor Festival
    Losar Festival
    Sindhu Darshan Festival

Festivals of Ladakh 2023 and 2024

Calendar for festivals in Ladakh
Festival name Location 2023 2024
Hemis Festival Hemis Monastery 28-29 June 16-17 June
Losar Festival All of Ladakh 13 Dec 31 Dec
Korzok Gustor Festival Korzok Monastery 21-22 July 09-10 July
Sindhu Darshan Festival Shey, Indus riverbank June June
Phyang Tsedup Festival Phyang Monastery 15-16 July 03-04 July
Dosmochey Festival Leh, Diskit, Likir 18-19 Feb 07-08 Feb
Saka Dawa Festival All around Ladakh 04 June 23 May
Naro Nasjal Festival Sani Monastery, Zanskar 31 Aug-01 July 20-21 July
Takthok Festival Takthok Monastery 28-29 July 16-17 July
Matho Nagrang Festival Matho Nagrang Monastery 06-07 Mar 23-24 Feb
Ladakh Festival Leh and adjoining villages Sept Sept

Ladakhi Calendar

ladakhi calendar

Tibetan Calendar Thangka

Hand-painted Thangka showing the Tibetan calendar and the astrological diagram.

The local people of Ladakh follow the Tibetan calendar. The Tibetan calendar is composed of 12 or 13 lunar months. Each month begins and ends with a new moon.
To ensure that the Tibetan year is in line with the solar year, a thirteenth month is added every two or three years.

The dates and events of the Tibetan calendar are very similar to that of the Mongolian calendar.Each year of the Tibetan calendar is associated with an animal and an element, similar to the Chinese zodiac.

The element-animal designations recur in cycles of 60 years.A person who is 30 years old in Western years is 32 in places that practice Tibetan Buddhism. The traditional Tibetan calendar based on lunar events is not the only one used by the community.

There are two other calendars - the Kalachakra solar calendar and the Elemental lunar calendar.

Hemis Festival

When is the Hemis Festival celebrated ?

It is a 2-day festival that is usually celebrated at the beginning of the summer.

Where is the Hemis Festival celebrated?

It is celebrated at the Hemis Monastery which is approximately 50 km from Leh.

The Hemis festival , is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. Padmasambhava means ‘born from the lotus’.

During the Hemis festival, the locals dress up traditionally. You will see men wearing kamarbands and women with vibrant headgears and ample jewelry.
During the monkey year, which comes in a cycle of 12 years, the four-storeyed thangka of Guru Padmasambhava is hung in the courtyard with other precious thangkas out on display. Thangka is a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton/silk fabric.

You may also enjoy a Cham performance. Cham is a lively masked and costumed dance associated with Tibetan Buddhism. The Cham dance form is considered to be an offering to the gods.
Hemis Festival in Ladakh

Hemis Festival in Ladakh

The festival is a blend of various cultures of Central Asia, Tibetan and northern India.

Korzok Gustor Festival

Festive Celebrations

Festival celebrations

The festival comprises mask dances, games such as camel races, regional music, etc.

When is the Korzok Gustor Festival celebrated?

It is usually celebrated around the end of July

Where is the Korzok Gustor Festival celebrated?

At the Korzok Monastery near the Tso Moriri lake.

The Chang-pa, nomadic herdsmen from the Tibetan plateau come in large numbers to this festival. The Black-Hat dance is a major highlight of the festival. The Lama dancers wear masks representing Dharmapalas who are the patron divinities of the Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

Himalayan Ecotourism arranges everything for the travellers from A TO Z and can guarantee a fun-filled, adventurous trip to the land of high passes.

Losar Festival

When is the Losar Festival celebrated?

The Losar festival is celebrated in the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar, which is usually around December

Where is the Losar Festival celebrated?

It is celebrated throughout Ladakh.

The Losar festival , is celebrated for two to three weeks.

The first few days of the festival are most important for the locals as they make offerings to and seek the blessings of the Gods and deities.

This festival is very entertaining and sees the enactment of a lot of ancient rituals and the age-old traditions in the land of the high passes. People also visit their relatives and friends during the Losar festival celebrations.
Wall Painting

Wall paintings

Monasteries have the oldest surviving paintings in Ladakh.

Sindhu Darshan Festival

Masked Dance

Masked Dance at the Festival

Wild lion and yak dancing to music presentations.

When is the Sindhu Darshan Festival celebrated?

Sindhu Darshan is celebrated in the first week of June

Where is the Sindhu Darshan Festival celebrated?

On the banks of River Sindhu at Shey.

Sindhu Darshan festival is celebrated to honor the river Indus. The Indus River which is considered to be the birthplace of Indian civilization appears in many ancient Indian texts as ‘Sindhu’.

In this three-day festival, artists from all over the country are provided a platform to showcase their unique dance performances. Senior Lamas offer prayers on the banks of the river.

Phyang Tsedup Festival

When is the Phyang Tsedup Festival celebrated?

Usually around the second half of July.

Where is the Phyang Tsedup Festival celebrated?

At the Phyang Monastery near Leh

The Phyang Tsedup festival , is celebrated to honor Skyoba Jigten Gombo, the founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage. Jigten Gombo founded the Drikung Thil Monastery in 1179. The monastery serves as a residence for around 300 monks.

The Cham dance is performed at the celebration. Elegant thangkas including a grand one of Skyoba Jigten Gombo are displayed at the festival.
Cultural Festive Vibes

Cultural vibes at the festival

Insight into the heritage and culture of the people of Ladakh.

Dosmochey Festival

Art Performance

Art performance at the Festival

The monks perform fascinating art performance at all the festivals.

The 2-day festival is believed to have been started by the royal families in Ladakh to ward off evil. During the festival, the Leh palace is decorated in grandeur, and monks from different monasteries perform a sacred dance.

Traditionally dressed locals and monks and colorfully decorated monasteries are the highlights of the Dosmochey Festival. Senior monks with expertise in Buddhist Tantrism burn dough idols and make thread crosses to keep away the evil forces.

Saka Dawa Festival

Saka Dawa is the supreme festival of all Buddhists. During the festival, people take part in a procession called Bhumskor wherein they carry articles depicting the life and noble deeds of Buddha.

People engage in meditation and dharma sadhana while refraining from killing animals. The people honor and walk on the path preached by Buddha (Sakyamuni, the sage of the Sakyas)
Monks Meditating

Deities in the monasteries

They represent the various aspects of our human nature.

Naro Nasjal Festival

Praying Monks

Morning at the Spituk Monastery

The life in a monastery is organized around the rhythm of prayers and meditations.

The festival begins with the unveiling of the statue of Yogi Naropa who is believed to have meditated at the Kanika Stupa in Sani Monastery. As a ritual offering, the Lamas of the Bardan Monastery perform masked dances.

Himalayan Ecotourism can arrange the best trip to the scenic land of barren mountains and mesmerizing lakes

Takthok Festival

The Takthok gompa belongs to the Nyingma order, which is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Takthok monastery is where Guru Rinpoche meditated and the festival comprises dances and art forms that portray the life of Guru Rinpoche.
Thaktok festival

Thaktok festival

In the middle of the best Ladakh season, located in a very nice natural environment.

Matho Nagrang Festival

Prayer Flags at Monastery

Oracles and shamans

In Ladakh, the shamans or Lhamos are considered as important healers and clairvoyants.

Where is the Matho Nagrang Festival celebrated?

In the Matho Nagrang Monastery, Indus valley

Matho Nagrang is a very unique festival. It is known as the festival of black oracles. Two oracles are chosen from monks who have been meditating for months and preparing themselves for this special festival. The chosen then give blessings to a large number of people gathered.

Ladakh Festival

The name itself gives you an idea that the festival will be a platform that showcases the diverse cultures of the highland.

The festival is arranged jointly by the locals and the tourism department. Archery, Polo and various other competitions are also held during this festival. People who have come for the fest can enjoy the local barley beer called Chang.

Ladakhi food, handicrafts, folklore dances, traditional music, and the entire festival give tourists a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Ladakhis.
Leh palace

Leh palace

Leh is the center place for celebration of this festival.

Recognition of Himalayan Ecotourism

Himalayan Ecotourism Awards

Our awards

Himalayan Ecotourism is the winner of the To Do award 2022 in the field of "Socially Responsible Tourism".
We are also the Overall Winner of the Indian Responsible Tourism Award 2019 and the Gold winner in the Best Adventure Operator category.
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Our cooperative-based model of social enterprise and our efforts to conserve the Himalayas are the main reasons for winning these awards.
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