Mystic Chham Dance of Monastery festivals in Ladakh
Monastery festivals are one of the main attractions of Ladakh. These are a riot of color and sounds and happiness.
The monastic festivals are annual events held to commemorate the establishment of a particular monastery, the birth anniversary of its patron saint or a major event in the history and evolution of Tibetan Buddhism.
These festivals here are generally organized in the courtyard of the gompa/monastery. Lamas in their colorful attire and frightening masks perform dances and depict the victory of good over evil.
The main event of the Monastic Festival is the “Chhams" ritual dance-drama, which is choreographed by the mystic dance master (Chham-spon) according to strict guidelines prescribed in dance books. The dancers are lamas of the respective monastery, who are selected & trained for the purpose. They wear elaborate brocade robes & masks representing various divinities.
The dancers, holding ritual instruments in hands, step around the central flagpole in the courtyard in solemn dance and mime, in tune with the music of the monastic orchestra. The ritual instruments and the hand gestures or mudras of the dancers symbolize different aspects of the dance-drama. In between the more sombre sequences, relief is provided by a group of comic performers who jump into the scene in the guise of skeletons and other characters, performing comic interludes.
Some of the major festivals dates :
Nearest Airport : Leh Airport (15 km / 30mins)
Best time to visit and Climate :
Ladkah has a beauty of its own for each season. While the summers are vibrant and glorious, the winters are harsh and wild.
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