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About Hemis Festival




The courtyard of Hemis Gompa-the biggest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh is the stage for the famous 'Hemis' festival that celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava.
The colourful two-day pageant falls on the 10th day (Tse-Chu) of the Tibetan lunar month.
 The local people are seen dressed up in their finest traditional garb for the occasion. 
Lamas called 'chhams' perform splendid masked dances and sacred plays to the accompaniment of cymbals, drums and long horns. 
The head lama presides over the function. 
The festival takes an auspicious turn every 12 years in the Tibetan Year of the Monkey, when the two-storey high 'Thanka' depicting Padmasambhava is displayed. 
This famous 'Thanka', richly embroidered with pearls and semi-precious stones, is due to be displayed at this years festival i.e in 2004. 
A colourful fair, displaying some beautiful handicrafts, is the special highlight of the festival.

Hemis festival video