Free Press Journal

Naropa Festival: The Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas


On Sunday, you will be able to take a dive in Ladakh’s rich Buddhist legacy, because it’s time for Naropa Festival, also referred to as the Kumbha of the Himalayas, this festival attracts a huge crowd. September 2018 will see the Himalayas of Ladakh filled with happiness with celebrations from September 16 to September 20. If you are in Ladakh around for these dates, this is what you need to know about this festival.

The Naropa Festival is dedicated to celebrating the life of Indian Saint Naropa, who lived from 1016 to 1100 and whose teachings are considered to be the core of Buddhism. It features some rare cultural events that are believed to grant spiritual liberation upon sight.

This includes the unfurling of the largest silk embroidery of Buddha Amitabha. Its height extends for several stories and it’s only displayed to the public during the festival. A holy set of ancient Buddhist relics will also be on display. Other highlights include talks and discussions, a traditional Ladakhi archery competition, fashion parade, Bollywood music concert, and local folk dance performances.

Naropa Festival is held in Hemis Monastery, which is a city in Leh. It is one of the biggest Buddhist monastery in the country. The village of Hemis makes for a perfect setting because it attracts a lot of tourists. Another highlight of Naropa Festival 2018 is the epic concert that is planned for September 20, for this one aims to mark its name in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Hemis Monastery