Buddhist Monks Dancing at Hemis Festival, Ladakh, India. (Click the photo at the right to watch video.)
The annual Hemis Festival is held at Hemis Gompa (Gompa = monastery), to celebrate the birth of Padmasambhava, founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Magnificent. The choreographed dancing by monks is accompanied by clashing cymbals, drums, horns, and chanting, in the courtyard of the monastery beneath the peaks of the Himalayas. These monks are dancing in heavy robes in a very hot sun around noon.
A crowd filled every inch of space-both local people and visitors. Hemis is 60 km south of the city of Leh. The summer residence of the Dalai Lama is in the immediate vicinity of Leh.
While acclimating to high altitude in preparation of our 10-day trek in the Himalayas in July 2017, we visited a number of monasteries and other special sites around Leh. We scheduled our trip so we could attend the Hemis festival.