Gracing the Hemis monastery in Ladakh once every 12 years, the Naropa Festival is coming back this year in September, 2016. With celebrations of the Hemis Festival adorning the district each year, every 12 years, the streets of this district are engulfed with the fervour of thousands, making for a truly spectacular sight.

This is what one of the most spectacular festivals looks like, on a rare occasion that comes every 12 years.

The Hemis Festival pays tribute to the life of Buddist yogi Naropa. Once a gatekeeper of Nalanda University, the mythical yogi figure was a scholar-saint credited with Buddhism’s Six Yogas of Naropa, an integral part of Vajrayana Buddhism. So, we know this is a big deal. 

Each year the district lights up with a proverbial kaleidoscope of traditional dances, music, and cultural plays.

But, this year’s Naropa Festival will celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the yogi’s visit to the district.

This year’s edition of the festival is going to be of gargantuan proportions.

With an expected footfall of nearly 1.5 million visitors, this year’s celebrations are one for the history books.

And, it will be held at Hemis Gompa – Ladakh’s biggest and most revered monastery.

Ritualistic prayers are performed with conch shells, drums and gongs, and professional masked dancers, all in the midst of the hills to create an unforgettable experience. 

Known as the Kumbh of the hills, there is no reason to miss this festival. Not if you want to wait another 12 years.

Need anymore excuses to make it to the hills now? 

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