Hemis Festival: Your window to get a glimpse of the magical realm of Ladakh

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

What is the one thing that identifies every traveler?

No, it’s not an identity card. That shit is only for the confines of the office.

It’s the prayer flag of Ladakh. If you want to know more about it, click here.

Speaking of Ladakh, do you know what is one thing in Ladakh that is popular among the people who live there and a couple of outsiders, but hardly known by most of the outsiders who just go there on their bikes just to ride there? Well, today I am gonna be sharing a secret with ya-all… technically, not a secret, but a piece of unknown information. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you information about the unparalleled beauty of the Hemis festival. If you haven’t attended this festival, it is the best way to absorb the culture of the place and get the best soul-touching experience. It is one of the, if not most popular festivals of the Ladakh region and one of the most vibrant events you’ll ever come across. So, if you are planning to visit Ladakh soon, and want to get some information about this festival, I’m adding a few details like the festival dates, celebration process, reasons to celebrate, and much more. Also, if any of your friends or relative is going there, do share this blog with them to make them aware of this awesome festival.

Let us first see why the Hemis Festival is celebrated?

Hemis festival is celebrated in Ladakh every year on the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava. It is celebrated for two days which marks the victory of good over evil, much like Dussehra. According to legends, it is said that Guru Padmasambhava defected the dark forces with the help of “Vajrayana Buddhism”.

Statue of Lord Padmasambhava

This is the largest festival in the region and people from the entire Ladakh region visit the location to attend this festival.

What is so unique about the Hemis festival?

Hemis Festival is celebrated in Hemis Monastery and that’s how it got its name. The monastery itself dates back to 300 years and is currently under the rule of Namgyal. During the festival, you can almost feel the entire valley, mountains, and rivers resonating with the beats of the drums, trumpets, and cymbals.

Hemis Monastery

Hemis monastery festival begins with the followers seeking the blessing of the Guru from the portrait. This ritual takes place early morning and is the ceremony begins with the musicians playing music. What makes the festival more attractive is the masked performance called Cham. It is a slow-paced dance form showing the war between good and evil where good wins.

The entire performance is jaw-dropping as the colorfully dressed people who are often Lamas, bring happiness and enthusiasm in the whole crowd.

Apart from the celebrations, there is a fair that is organized where you can buy Tibetan souvenirs and there are people all over dressed up in their best traditional attire. It’s definitely a sight to behold.