Hemis festival, ladakh

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Hemis Festival is a vibrant two-day event celebrated in Ladakh, India, marking the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, a revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism. Held in the Hemis Gompa Monastery, the festival[1] features the Cham Dance, performed by masked lamas, and the unfurling of giant Thangkas (Buddhist paintings). The festival takes place on the 10th day of the fifth month of the Tibetan Calendar, typically in June or July[2]. It’s a grand spectacle of culture, spirituality, and life, attracting devotees and tourists from around the world. The Hemis Festival is more than a religious event; it’s a celebration of the spirit, offering a unique insight into the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh. It’s an unforgettable experience that leaves lasting memories.

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Hemis festival, ladakh

How to Reach

By Air The nearest airport to Hemis is Leh Airport, located approximately 34 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a cab to reach Hemis.

By Train The closest railway station is Jammu Tawi Railway Station. From the station, you can take a cab to Hemis.

By road Many travel enthusiasts choose to embark on a road trip to Ladakh to enjoy the Hemis Festival. This journey[3] has its unique charm, offering breathtaking views of the rugged terrain.

2 Days Itinerary

The Hemis Festival is a two-day event filled with mesmerizing dances, vibrant costumes, and a celebration like no other. On both days, giant thangkas (Buddhist paintings) are unfurled for the public. Every 12th year, the largest thangka in Ladakh is unfurled on the first day of the festival.

Get Around

Hemis Monastery, the largest and wealthiest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh, is the main venue for the festival[4]. It is situated 45 kilometers southeast of Leh, the capital of Ladakh, perched on a serene hilltop surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains.

Things to Do

Witness the Cham Dance, a spellbinding ritualistic performance where masked lamas, dressed in ornate costumes representing various deities, take center stage. The dancers whirl and twirl to the rhythm of traditional music, casting a mystical spell over the audience.

Offbeat Places

Explore the charming village of Hemis, nestled amidst the rugged terrain of Ladakh. The village comes alive with the magic of the Hemis Festival every year.


Participate in the vibrant procession that commences the festival. The beating of drums, the clash of cymbals, and the resonating sound of ceremonial horns announce the arrival of the sacred thangka—a vibrant, centuries-old religious tapestry.


While in Hemis, don’t miss the opportunity to shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs. You can find a variety of Tibetan artifacts, jewelry, and hand-woven carpets in the local markets.


Tantalize your taste buds with Ladakhi delicacies at the food stalls during the festival. From piping-hot thukpa (noodle soup) to scrumptious momos (dumplings) and the irresistible butter tea, there’s something for everyone.


There are several guest houses and homestays available in Hemis where you can experience the local culture and hospitality.

Go Next

After experiencing the Hemis Festival, you can explore other attractions in Ladakh such as the Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, and Khardung La Pass.