Ladakh Festival
About The Trek
The Ladakh Festival is a major event organized every year by the Kashmir and Jammu Tourism Department in collaboration with the local communities and the district government administrations. The festival begins with a spectacular procession in which various cultural troupes and village contingents participate in full ceremonial costumes, singing and performing various types of colorful dances to the tune of the traditional orchestra. Thousands of traditionally attired men and women line the route of the procession, adding to the carnival atmosphere. At the polo ground, where the procession terminates, the participants break into a variety of folk and popular dances, presenting the best samples of the region’s performing arts. Among the regular programs, including a fortnight of musical concerts, lama dances and folk ceremonies, the most colorful and exciting are the archery events. Designed with an objective to revive and promote the richness, depth and pageantry of Ladakh’s centuries-old culture for worldwide appreciation and enjoyment, the Ladakh Festival offers a unique opportunity to witness many of Ladakh’s traditions and folk heritage in a very short time and without having to traverse to its often formidable outlying areas. Our tour brings you to experience the best of it. Our tour’s daily program is not finalized until Kashmir and Jammu Tourism Department publishes the schedule of events, released usually about two weeks before the start of the festival.
Region : Leh
Festival Dates: September 1 – 15
Hemis Tse-chu and Lamayuru Kab-gyat Festivals
About The Trek
The focal point of the tour are the festivals at Hemis and Lamayuru, undeniably the most famous monasteries of Ladakh. Hemis festival is the biggest and most famous of the monastic festivals. It is dedicated to Padmasambhava, the patron saint of Tibetan Buddhism and the one who brought Buddhism from India to Tibet. The taming, conversion and eventual integration of the pre-Buddhist Bon-po gods and demons into the Buddhist pantheon as guardian divinities are reverently attributed to him. Tse-chu refers to the 10th day of every Tibetan lunar month and Tse-chu of the fifth month and the tenth month are celebrated as the birth anniversary of Padmasambhava. The Hemis dance-drama depicts the magical feats of Padmasmbhava, also known as Guru Rimpoche, in his eight different manifestations to vanquish the enemies of Buddhism and for its propagation. Popularly known as Hemis Tse-chu, for which Ladakh is famous all over the world, Hemis monastery celebrates this event in the form of a two-day festival. Lamayuru Yuru Kab-gyat festival takes place at the Lamayuru monastery, considered to be the oldest monastery in Ladakh and thus a major religious landmark. The two-day festival of sacred dances and other rituals is performed by the resident lamas wearing masks representing guardian divinities from the Dri-gung-pa monastic order pantheon and concludes as most monastic dances with the destruction of the sacrificial offerings. The festival is an unforgettable event no less for its own unique character than for the spectacular, picturesque moon-land surroundings of the remote village high above which the Lamayuru Gompa is mounted precariously atop a steep hill.
Region : Zhung (Middle Ladakh) and Sham (Lower Ladakh)
Festival: Hemis Gompa & Yuru Kabgyat
Duration : 15 Days
Duration : Delhi, Leh, Shanti Stupa, Sangkar, Tsemo Gompas, Hemis gompa, Matho, Stakna, Takhtok monasteries, Hemis Tse-chu, Chemde, Thikse, Shey monasteries, Lamayuru gompa, Likir, Alchi, Ridzong Gompa, Lamayuru Kab-gyat, Bazgo, Phyang monasteries Day
Karsha Gu-stor and Phyang Tse-dup Festivals
About The Trek
This tour offers an exciting overland journey to Zanskar where the first of the two festivals is held. A visit to this secluded Shangri-la is a memorable experience even if no major festival were to be part of this journey. The second festival takes place just west of Leh, the capital of Ladakh, at Phyang. Between the two festivals, and along with visits to other major monasteries of the region, the tour accounts for one of the most dramatic overland festival tours spanning the regions of the isolated Zanskar, the Suru Valley and the Indus river valley. Karsha Gu-stor festival, commemorating the victory of good over evil, takes place at the largest Geluk-pa, Yellow Hat, monastery in Zanskar. It is also Zanskar’s largest in terms of resident monks, counting more than 100 lamas. The monastery is built on a steep mountainside rising above the village of Karsha, a spectacular site some 12 kilometers from Padum, Zanskar’s ancient capital. Gu-stor sacred dances or ‘chhams’ are held to commemorate the birthday of Tsongkha-pa, the founder of the Geluk-pa monastic order. The annual Tse-dup festival takes place at the Phyang Gompa, situated on a hill overlooking the Phyang village. The sacred dance-drama of the resident monks culminates with ritual burning of the votive offerings. On the occasion of this auspicious event, the huge antique thanka painting of Skyabje Jigten Gombo, the founder of the Dri-gung-pa monastic order, is exhibited for the public every 3rd year. Phyang Gompa is one of the best maintained gompas in Ladakh and lies only 17 kilometers west of Leh.
Region : Zhung (Middle Ladakh) and Zanskar
Festival: Karsha Gompa & Phyang Gompa
Duration : 15 days
Duration : Delhi, Leh, Shanti Stupa, Karsha, Kargil, Tsemo gompa. Rangdum Gompa, Sangkar, Tsemo Gompas, Hemis gompa, Takhtok monasteries, Chemde, Thikse, Shey monasteries, Lamayuru gompa, Likir, Alchi, Phyang
Korzok Gu-stor and Tak Thok Tse-chu Festivals
About The Trek
A journey to Korzok from Leh is unlike any other in Ladakh. The Leh – Manali road first brings us over one of the highest passes in the region, over the Taklang-la (5260m). From here it strikes off east on a rough track across the basin of the twin lakes, Startsapuk-Tso (fresh water) and the Tso-kar (salt water), then over a roller-coaster track to the head of Tso Moriri, a magnificent lake, and on to Korzok, a quarter of the way along the lake’s 20km length. Containing the drainage basin of these trans-Himalayan lakes and known as Rupshu, this is a landscape of open, windswept high-altitude valleys. Korzok, situated at 15,000 feet (4,572 m) with its dozen or so houses and its gompa appearing like a mirage among the barren hills, is the only permanent settlement in Rupshu, and the stage for the region’s only monastic festival. The Korzok Gu-stor attracts scores of Chang-pa, the Tibetan plateau nomadic herdsmen, for whom this even constitutes the sole event of its kind and magnitude. Tse-chu at Tak Thok Gompa is unique in the fact that this is the only Nyingma-pa, Red Hat, monastery in Ladakh thus closely devoted to its patron-saint Padmasambhava. Mystic dances are performed by the lamas in the guise of various divinities and legendary characters. They perform the mystic dances as prescribes the protocol, consecrating and destroying the votive offerings ‘Stor-ma’ in closing of the propitious performance. Trip to Tak Thok promises another unique glimpse of the Ladakh landscape of trans-Himalaya. Located in the village of Sakti, about 46 km east of Leh, below Chang-la (5320m), Tak Thok is on the way to the Pangong Lake in the far eastern end of Ladakh.
Region : Zhung (Middle Ladakh) and Korzok
Duration : 15 Days
Duration : Delhi, Leh, Shanti Stupa, Sangkar, Tsemo Gompas, Korzok, Matho, Hemis monasteries, Tso Moriri, Korzok Gu-stor , Shey monastery, Likir, Alchi monasteries, Tak Thok, Thikse, Chemde monasteries
SINDHU DARSHAN FESTIVAL
About The Trek
The “Sindhu Darshan” or Sindhu festival aims at projecting the Indus as a symbol of India’s unity and communal harmony. While promoting tourism in this area, Sindhu darshan is also a symbolic salute to the brave soldiers of India. This festival holds religious significance even while promoting tourism in that area. Sindhu stands for peaceful coexistence and communal harmony and is a symbol of our country’s identity and civilization. The ‘Sindhu Yatra’ helps forge a bond of unity with those who live in far-flung corners of the country; thus providing them an opportunity to visit the beautiful region of Ladakh.

This festival begins usually on the full moon day in July, which is also termed “Guru Purnima”. On the first day, the participants of this festival are welcomed and there is a reception on the banks of Sindhu at Shey, about14 km from Leh on Leh-Hemis Gompa Road. Being a truly National Integration Programme, the reception is jointly conducted by the Ladakh Buddhist Association, Shia majlis, Sunni Anjuman, Christian Moravian Church, Hindu Trust and Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee. A ritual prayer is performed by 50 senior Lamas on the banks of the Sindhu. A host of cultural programmes are performed by the representatives of various states. The celebrations on the banks end with lunch for all the participants.

Later, the participants are taken around for a sight-seeing trip. The day concludes with a campfire and get-together at night. On the third Day Sindhu Pujan takes place followed by cultural programmes and sightseeing. Then on the fourth day, the participants get ready for departure.

Sightseeing includes Buddhist monasteries and other cultural/heritage sites, which are the principal tourist attractions of Central Ladakh and Zanskar. These sites, most within easy reach from Leh, may be visited by a bus or taxi. Many of the region’s major gompas are open throughout the day and a caretaker Lama is available to show visitors around. Some of the less visited establishments have special opening hours, as in the case of Namgyal Tsemo, Shey Palace and the Stok Palace Museum. Hall of Fame, near Leh, is a tribute to our valiant soldiers. About 30 km from Leh, a Sikh Gurudwara is also a place worth visiting. It is maintained by the Indian Army.

Trek Route
Chilling – Sku – Markha – Langtang Chu – South Camp –Charchar La – North Camp – Zangla Sumdo – Zangla – Karcha – Padam – Sani.
Duration: 20 days (10 days trekking )
Season: September
Average temperature: Day (20 – 25 c) Night (07-11 c)