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zanskar Festival

(Last Updated 03 Nov, 2022)

  • Dates :

    15/07/2023 - 16/07/2023

  • Location :

    Karsha Monastery, Ladakh

Zanskar Festival in Ladakh (Karsha Gustor) is a famous festival of Buddhists. During the Zanskar (Karsha Gustor), a Black Hat Dance is performed. The significance of this dance is to ward off the evil forces and establish the victory of good over evil. This is also a masked dance, much like Chhams that offer a lifetime experience. It is celebrated in January and is also known as Spitok Gutor Zanskar Festival.

The fete of Oracles held in Stok is commonly known as Zanskar (KarshaGustor) in Ladakh.. Presently Stok is a Royal Residence. The layman predicts the future instead of reputed soothsayers, who are commonly recognized for this job At the Zanskar (KarshaGustor), The layman is spiritually cleansed by the Lamas after a proper selection and is prepared to receive the Holy Deity's spirit.

Description of the Zanskar (Karsha Gustor) in Leh Ladakh:

This is a Masked Dance that the Monks of the Geluk-pa order perform because the Zanskar (KarshaGustor) Festival is typical to that order. The masked Hat Dancers symbolize the guardian divinities (Dharmapalas) and the benefactors of the Geluk-pa order.

Actually, Masked Dances are part and parcel of the Buddhist scriptures. These dances were mainly performed to ward off the evil forces and date back to the historical times when Buddhist manuscripts were first written. The Zanskar (KarshaGustor) Festival continues for two days in places such as Spitok, Karsha (Zanskar), and Thiksay.

Zanskar Festival culminates with the dismemberment of the sacrificial cake. The concluding part of the Black Hat Dance during the Zanskar (Karsha Gustor) is the killing of the evil force by the dancers' leader, known as Argham.

The main highlight of this dance is the re-enactment of the assassination of the Tibetan renegade, King Lang-dar-ma, by a Buddhist Monk. The king was said to be a traitor who lived in mid 9th century and caused a lot of harm to the state. At the end of Zanskar Festival of Ladakh, effigy of the evil forces is burnt. 

Time for the celebration of Zanskar (KarshaGustor)

The Zanskar (KarshaGustor) Festival is held in January. Apart from knowing the culture and tradition, Ladakh has so much to experience. So pack your bag and witness the glory of this beautiful region of India through our well-curated Ladakh tour packages.

All events & festivals in Leh Ladakh

  • Within India, Nepal & Bhutan
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  • Adults
    ( Ages 13 above )
  • Children
    ( Ages 2–12 )