The Sindhu Darshan Festival is held every year on full moon day in the month of June in Leh in Ladakh district of Jammu & Kashmir. The three-day festival was first celebrated in October 1997 and is held every year since then. As the name suggests the festival celebrates river Sindhu, also known as Indus. A large number of people from different parts of the country participate in the festival. Sindhu Darshan Festival symbolises peace and communal harmony. Visitors carry water from the river of their own state in earthen pots and immerse in the Sindhu River. It is believed that as the waters from all the rivers mingle, thereby symbolising multi-dimensional cultural identity.
It is said that veteran BJP leader LK Advani and veteran journalist Tarun Vijay re-discovered that the Sindhu river flows through Ladakh, on their visit to Leh in January 1996. It was Tarun Vijay who came up with the idea of a festival on the banks of the river.
The first day of the Sindhu Darshan Festival is conducted by a joint association of committees of various religious groups – Ladakh Buddhist Association, Shia Majlis, Sunni Anjuman, Christian Moravian Church, Hindu Trust and Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee. A beautiful blend of Buddhist, Shia, Sunni, Christian, Hindu and Sikh culture. There is a tradition where around 50 senior Lamas conduct prayers on the banks of the river. The second day commences with a puja on the banks of the river. The festival also sees performances from artists from various parts of the country.
Fun fact: Bollywood film ‘Dil Se’ (1998) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta was shot during the first Sindhu Darshan Festival.
Sindhu Darshan Festival 2018
When: June 12 – 14, 2018
Where: Sindhu River Banks, Shey Manla, Leh, Ladakh