A once every 12 year event – Hemis Festival 2016

Hemis-Festival-Ladakh

Ladakh is exotic, remote, stunningly beautiful and one of my favourite parts of the world.
It is no ordinary place. Leh, it’s capital is built in the rarified air of 3,500 metres. It sits in a green belt surrounded by arid and desolate and lunar looking landscape Due to its remoteness and proximity (close to the Chinese/Tibet border and Pakistan) it is a sensitive place strategically for India. There is no mobile coverage for foreign visitors and limited internet connection. It is a disconnected place, and has its roots far beyond technology . It’s history is thousands of years old. You can see it in the landscape and in its buildings – the most prominent being it’s monasteries.
One such monastery is Hemis, 90 minutes drive from Leh. Hemis is famous for its festival that is 300-year-old and features lama dancing, colour parades and ancient ceremonies. It is a showcase of how its traditions can bind people from across generations. The festival organised in the honour of Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the annual two day Hemis Festival at the Hemis Monastery has become an important date in the calendars of travellers from across the world.
This year is especially different as it is the grand Naropa Festival 2016, to be held from July 1 to 31. This spiritual programme takes place once in every 12 years and one of the features will be the unveiling of the giant Thankga (Buddhist painting) of Guru Rinpoche and the display the ornaments belonging to Naropa, the 11th century Indian saint and are some of the holiest treasures of the Himalayas.
For anyone wanting to escape to somewhere completely different or simply to be part of an ancient festival, this is the place for you. As part of our festival tours we are running an 8 day 7 night package from 11-18 July 2016. Details : http://eknotravels.com/tours/hemis-festival-and-ladakh/ Contact us: tour@eknotravels.com.au

About Author

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Sharon Thrupp
Sharon is passionate about India and the Himalayan region. She believes that while her Australia is her country by birth, India is the country of her heart. She first went to India in 1996 and later returned to volunteer helping Tibetans in Dharamsala in 2001, fell in love with the Himalayas and stayed. She is currently involved in a NGO in India helping underprivileged girls continue their education and spends her spare time walking in the foothills of the Himalayas and doing yoga.