Do You Need Inner Line Permit for Nubra, Pangong, Tso Moriri?

Ladakh Inner Line Permit

Ladakh has reintroduced Inner Line Permit for Nubra, Pangong, Tso Moriri, and other protected areas in 2017. So all Indians wishing to travel to these areas shall get the permits from Deputy Collector’s (DC) office in Leh. Deputy Collector’s Office Timings for Permit: 10:00 am to 04:00 pm on working …

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16 Dakinis Perform Gilded Mask Dance during Hemis Festival

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Photo: July 7, 2014. Hemis Festival, Ladakh. A group of sixteen dakinis performs the gilded mask dance around a religious pole. Sixteen dancers wearing copper / papier-mâché masks slowly move their bodies to match the traditional music tunes from Tibet. The dancers perform religious rituals to defeat evil spirits, to …

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Hemis Monastery Portrays Our World in Black Hat Dance

Black Hat Dance, Hemis Festival

Photo: July 7, 2014. Hemis Monastery, Ladakh, India. A Black Hat dancer       Nowadays, thirteen Janaka dancers perform Black Hat dance around religious objects in the Hemis Monastery during annual festival. However, in the olden times, it was a one-dancer performance. The dance, also known as tsamchot dance, …

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A Tip to Enjoy Hemis Festival Performances

Break after Hemis Festival Performance

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The Hemis Monastery presents multiple colorful performances during its two-day annual festival. Each performance is a complete story packed with messages. A brief preparatory pause separates some of the performances / chams.  Make use of these pauses. Take a break, nap… to enjoy each cham of the Hemis Festival. Have …

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7 Pit Stops along HPTDC Leh-Manali Bus Route

Sarchu camps, Himachal Pradesh

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Pit stops along the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) Leh-Manali bus route offer only basic facilities. These facilities are not of high standards but you will never go hungry and thirsty. The short menus of the eateries at the stops are a mix of selected Continental, Punjabi, and Tibetan …

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Check Out Changspa Road in Leh

Vegetarian Chinese eateries in Leh

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Today I will take you to Changspa Road, a popular tourist location in Leh. The road is littered with travel service providers, including eateries, money exchangers, rooms, shops, and travel agents. Mentokling, one of the eateries, houses a small office of Indian Mountaineering Foundation. However, the nondescript road lacks sites …

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Simple Sunny Stok Stirs Senses

Traditional brick house in village Stok

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On the penultimate day of September 2013, I walked into Stok, a pretty village near Leh. Chirps of magpies and sparrows, rustle of poplars, and sounds of the pebbled stream created low-pitch orchestra for sharp ears. Poplar trees were preparing to welcome winter. Their white shiny barks were bare. The …

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A Musical Moment from Hemis Festival Hosted by Hemis Monastery

A musical beginning of the Hemis Festival in Ladakh

Monks play dughchen trumpets at the Hemis Festival.

 

Hemis Monastery hosts a colorful festival every year in July. This year again the monastery and its rocky brown dun environs will reverberate with traditional music. Bright bold costumes of the performers will add color to the barren environs on July 3-4 during Hemis Festival. Monks give a traditional musical welcome to each group of performers who tell philosophical, religious, or spiritual stories from the world of Buddhism. Do not be surprised if you observe some light moments during serious cham performances.

 

Closing Cham of Hemis Festival: A Photo Story

Images from the last cham of Hemis Festival

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The last cham of the Hemis Festival in Ladakh was entirely different from the previous chams, the mask dances loaded with philosophy, spirituality, and religion. The last cham, performed at the Hemis Monastery on July 8, 2014, showcased an interaction between Smiling Buddha and his young carefree disciples. Have a look at it yourself. …

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Dun Desert of Choglamsar from Its “Landmark” Gonpa

Choglamsar and its gonpas

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Choglamsar at an altitude of about 3,235 meters  is located to the south east of Leh. The village on the right bank of the Indus River is about eight kilometers from Leh. This Tibetan refugee settlement is a main center of Tibetan Buddhism, studies and cultures. The word Choglamsar means …

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