The Hemis Festival is held every year in the Hemis Monastery, the largest Buddhist monastery of Ladakh. The two-day celebration kicked off on July 10, the tenth day of the lunar month on the Tibetan calendar. The festival celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, founder of Tibetan Buddhism. During the festival, the Lamas gather around the central flagpole in the courtyard of the monastery and perform mask dances and sacred plays depicting Guru Padmasambhava’s fight for good over evil. Their performances are accompanied by the music from drums, cymbals, and long horns.
The Hemis Festival is a major attractions in Ladakh and we saw more tourists here than anywhere else in the last six weeks on the Mango Hwy. The actual entertainment value of the dances and plays is short-lived and we found ourselves chatting with other tourists more than watching the stage. Kunal did get some photography tips from a German photographer that he put into practice. Below are a few of his best shots selected from
about a hundred.