5 Festivals in Ladakh that Can Light Up Your Entire 2020

The land of festivals, fun, diversity – India is known for its colours, food, and language. One such state in India is Ladakh; covered with snow-peaked mountains, alluring beauty, picturesque views and daunting passes it is an unexplored paradise.

Besides the unparalleled beauty, Ladakh also hosts an array of colourful festivals which are distinct to its land. Here are some of the most enchanting festivals of Ladakh to experience in 2020. 

1. Losar

03 Losar 2140 - Senior Lamas
(c) Flickr

When: December 30

Where: Across Leh-Ladakh

If you are planning to visit Ladakh on New Year, get ready to get drenched in the colours of Losar. Replete with cultural events, rituals, and performances, it is one of Ladakh’s most popular festivals. The festival falls on the first day of the lunisolar Tibetan calendar. The festival that lasts for two weeks represents the struggle and ultimately the triumph of good over evil. 

2. Sindhu Darshan

Dance at Sindhu Ghat
(c) Flickr

When: June 12- June 14

Where: Banks of river Sindhu at Shey Manila in Leh

Celebrated on Guru Purnima, Sindhu Darshan is another significant festival of Ladakh. The three-day festival commemorates the Indus River. The festival symbolises communal harmony and unity in diversity. Sindhu Darshan festival begins with Buddhist prayers by the Senior Lamas. You can also expect to witness cultural programs by renowned artists throughout the celebrations. 

3. Hemis Tsechu

India - Sani Festival, Zanskar valley
(c) Flickr

When: July 11- July 12

Where: Hemis monastery

The festival is celebrated for two days and features a series of mask dances by the lamas of Hemis monastery. The festival concludes with a sacrificial offering on the last day. The dancers wear colourful masks and fine silk costumes to represent various guardian divinities of the Drugpa order. The vibrant celebrations exemplify good prevailing over evil.

4. Ladakh Festival

(c) Flickr

When: September 22– September 25

Where: Across Leh

Showcasing the cultural diversity of various regions, the Ladakh festival witnesses performers celebrating with utmost joy and opulence. An extravaganza of dance programs, traditional music performances, and colourful robes, the festival spans over a duration of almost two weeks.

On the final day, religious procession crosses over from one monastery to the other. Archery, polo, masked dances, and concert are the key attractions of the eventful festival.

5. Yuru Kabgyat

(c) Flickr

When: July 29- July 30

Where: Lamayuru monastery

If you wish to witness the mystical beauty of Lamayuru monastery together with the celebration of Yuru Kabgyat, then July is the perfect month for you to travel to Ladakh. The two-day festival is marked by singing and dancing in a traditional pattern. Religious teachings of Buddha, and colourful ethnic garments worn by the monks are the key attractions of the festival. Held at the Lamayuru monastery, the Yuru Kabgyat festival attracts Buddhist from worldwide and Lamas from Japan, Tibet, Korea and China. 

These festivals make Ladakh an even more enchanting place to visit as you can enjoy the celebrations while beholding the picturesque beauty of the land.

(Curated by Priya Pareek)