Category: Guru Padmasambhava

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The Hemis festival – Amazing Mask Dances

The Hemis festival is one of the biggest and the most famous religious festivals of Ladakh and is an attraction for both the tourist and the local people. Hemis Gompa, the largest and richest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh plays host to the popular yearly festival day called Hemis Festival. The day has been declared as the state holiday. This is the time when the summer has seeped into the nook and corners of Ladakh while the winter is safely tucked away. The people are seen welcoming the warmth as they eagerly await the celebrations of their largest Hemis festival that takes place in Hemis. The biggest Tibetan monastery of Ladakh is situated here called the Hemis Monastery. This 2-day festival is celebrated on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month and remembered as the birth of Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. During the festival, the locals get dressed-up in traditional clothes, where men wear cummerbunds and women wear vibrant headgears and loads of jewelry. The Lamas perform sacred masked dance, known as Chaam while they are accompanied by musical drums, long horns and cymbals. The most mysterious form of celebration are the mystic mask dances. The Mask Dances of Ladakh are referred collectively as chams Performance. Chams performance is a fundamental a part of Tantric tradition. Chams are performed only in the monasteries that practice Vajrayana teachings of Tantric Buddhism. The Monastery of Hemis Jangchub Choling is Situated 40 km from Leh, this monastery is the principal, richest, loveliest and renowned gompa of Ladakh. Hemis was constructed in 1630 all through the rule of Sengge Namgyal, a memorable sovereign of Ladakh. It throve under the Namgyal progeny for ages as the royalty blessed the Drugpa sect, which administered the monastery. It is popular because of the major annual celebration organized here in summer. The leading Thanka in Ladakh is also present here that unfolds itself once in a period of 12 years.