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Hemis Festival 2021

(Last Updated 05 Aug, 2021)

  • Dates :

    20/06/2021 - 21/06/2021

  • Location :

    Ladakh
    (Jammu & Kashmir)


Bringing the colorful shades of festivities in the barren, deserted land of Ladakh - the Hemis Festival is one event that greatly represents the analogy of Ladakh culture. Like the other popular festivals in Leh Ladakh, Hemis Festival in Ladakh also marks the victory of good over evil. Just past the harsh winters of Ladakh, Hemis Festival feels like a welcome respite that attracts thousands of tourists to this remote place. And what better way to understand the people and culture of a region, other than its festivals.

Table of Content

Why celebrate the Hemis Festival?

This two-day celebration marks the victory of good over evil. Hemis Festival is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Lord Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) who defeated the demon. And, therefore, the people of Ladakh celebrated this festival on his birth anniversary. It is believed that his life mission was to improve the spiritual condition of living beings.

Main Attraction of Hemis Festival:

With the rhythmic sounds of cymbals, drums, and trumpets, celebrations of the Hemis festival commences early in the morning. Starting from peaceful prayers and rituals to Lord Padmasambhava as the main ceremony in the first place to the cultural and religious celebrations of Ladakh, there are several attractions of the festivals including

  • Cham Dance: This is a mystic mask dance, which is locally known as Chams. Depicting the tales of war between good and evil, the Chams or masked performers dominate the festival with their uproaring dance moves.
  • Colorfully dressed: Locals are dressed in bright colored attires and paper-Mache masks. Synchronization of their dance with the sounds of the traditional music instruments makes the event a lively and joyous affair.
  • Tantric traditions: Not just a dance performance to bring in variety, the Chams hold a significant place in the Tantric traditions of Buddhism, therefore, are the prime attractions of the Hemis festival.
  • Handicrafts: The unique handicrafts, antique objects, and artifacts like Buddhist idols, Tibetan gems and jewelry, and hand-woven dresses are some of the prime attractions of the festival.
  • Chang: The local drink is served at the festival, which is a must-try.

When to celebrate?

Dedicated to the birth of Buddhist Lord Padmasambhava, who is the founder of Vajrayana Buddhism in Ladakh, Hemis Festival is celebrated on the 10th day of the fifth month of the Tibetan lunar month. He is believed to have been born on this day and Hemis Festival celebrates with enthusiasm by the locals.

Where to celebrate the Hemis Festival?

Evident from its name, the celebrations of this renowned festival take place in the Hemis Gompa. The monastery holds a sacred status and is also the largest of its kind in Ladakh.

Where to Stay

During the Hemis Festival tour, visitors can stay near the monastery. There are a plethora of good accommodation options near Hemis Monastery, which offers a comfortable stay. Some of the best-staying options are: ·

  • The Verda Driftwood Ladakh
  • Ladakh Sarai Resort
  • Hotel Royal Palace
  • The Grand Dragon Ladakh
  • The Abduz Leh
  • The Indus Valley

How to Reach Hemis Monastery

Hemis Monastery is situated 35 km from Leh. The monastery is well-connected by road from nearby places. There is no direct connectivity from rail and flight. Here is the detailed information about how to reach Hemis Monastery:

By Air

Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh is the nearest airport, which is well-connected with the major cities of India such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu, and Srinagar. Cabs are easily available from the airport to Hemis Monastery.

By Train

The nearest major railhead is Jammu Tawi railway station, which is situated 883 km from Hemis Monastery. Catch a bus or hire a cab from Jammu Tawi railway station for Hemis.

By Road

There are two routes to reach by road – Manali-Leh highway and Srinagar-Leh highway. Board a bus from Srinagar to Leh or Manali to Leh. Also, hire a cab from any of these destinations to reach Leh from where one can easily reach Hemis by road.





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