7/2/2009 to 7/3/2009 | India , Ladakh

Hemis Festival 2009

The next morning we gave our legs a break and took a bus from Shang Sumdo to Hemis.  The monastic festival of Hemis is the largest and most well known of the many monastic festivals that take place throughout Ladakh and Zanskar.  Its fame, proximity to Leh, and timing (falling during Ladakh’s peak tourist season, also ensure that it is the most touristy of all of the festivals, with hordes of camera toting tourists clicking away.  Nevertheless, it is an example of the elaborate pageantry that surrounds Tibetan Buddhism, and certainly worth seeing if you’re in the area, offering a chance to view the elaborate ritual dance known as Cham, colorfully dressed locals in there finest attire, and to see Hemis Gompa at its most active.  We spent a day at the festival but then decided to return to Leh for some badly need showers and a pizza or two.

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