Ladakh is home to a lot of monastic festivals which are celebrated at many different monasteries. The people of this place are majorly the devotees of Buddhism. Undoubtedly, visiting Ladakh is once in a lifetime experience and a lot of people from around the world do come to this place for witnessing the grandeur of Ladakh in its full-fledged honour and participate in Thiksey Gustor festival in Leh, Ladakh.
It is mainly celebrated at various monasteries such as Thiksey, Spituk and Karsha Nanzkar. Gustor Festival in Karsha Monastery is held on the 27th and 28th day of the 6th Tibetan month which is July. This monastery is located at a distance of around 12 kms from Padum in the Zanskar Valley and has about 100 monks who live here and practice the Buddhist faith.
The same festival is celebrated in the Spituk monastery on the 11th Tibetan month which is the month of January. In this monastery as well, a great number of monks live, practising Buddhism faith.
The word Gustor essentially means ‘sacrificing’. The Thiksey Monastery was founded about 500 years ago and is situated at a distance of around 19 km from Leh.
Thiksey Gustor festival is celebrated for two days which is concluded by the distribution of a cake known as Torma. This festival is a significant monastic celebration which is done in order to destroy all evils and bring peace to the hearts and minds of the people taking part in it.
This festival commences with morning prayers and rituals under which a liquid is offered to the divine Gods. It is believed that it is owing to this offering, the Gods come to Earth to witness the mask dance.
And after the completion of the dance, there is also a distribution of the sacrificial cake which is known as Torma. This distribution ceremony is also called ‘Argham’ in the local language. It is interesting to know that during this festival there is also a re-enactment of the assassination of the traitor King Lang Darma of Tibet which was done by a Buddhist monk somewhere during the 9th century.
On the second day of this festival, a sacrificial figure which is made out of dough is destroyed in a ceremony which is called Dao-Tulva. The pieces which remain after the ceremony are then dispersed in four directions which particularly symbolize the banishment of the enemies from the entire land.
Ladakh is really a place for the adventurous soul. This is the kind of place where you are bound to find solace in the grand mountains. And what better than some really hot and delicious food to accompany you in the city's cold weather. Some of the popular dishes which you can savour in Ladakh are Paba, Momos, Thukpa, Chutagi, etc. Moving to the clothing part, men in Ladakh generally wear a thick robe which is known as ‘Goucha’. Men tie it on the neck with a colourful sash like cloth which is also known as ‘Skerag’. On the other hand, the women also wear a similar robe which is known as the Kuntop. And on their backs, they generally carry a shawl for protection against cold. It can be also used to carry babies or small parcels.
Ladakh is one of the most amazing travel getaways to explore around and breathe in. It is located at an approximate distance of around 1,098 km, 2,511 km, 3,280 km, 2,632 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. Let’s discuss how you can reach Ladakh via the following routes.
By Air. The nearest airport is the Kashuk Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL) which is located in Leh. It is considered as the 22nd highest commercial airport globally and is located at an immense height of 3,256 m above the sea level. Another important point to note here is that due to the presence of the mountain winds during the afternoon doesn’t let the flights take off or land during those hours.
However, because this airport is situated between the scenic Himalayas, the tourists here get to witness a spectacular landing. Various airlines like GoAir, Air India and SpiceJet operate to and fro Leh Ladakh connecting cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh. After deboarding your flight, you will have to hire a cab to reach your respective destination.
By Train. It is important to note that Leh Ladakh doesn’t have direct railway connectivity. Some good options to reach Leh Ladakh via train routes are Jammu Tawi railway station, Pathankot, Kalka railway station, and Chandigarh railway station. However, after deboarding at these stations, you will need to cover a considerable amount of distance, thus it is only recommended to travel by train only if your destination is nearby the train stations.
But still, out of these the best option to reach via train is considered the Jammu Tawi Railway station. From Delhi, you can board the Jammu Rajdhani or SVDK VANDEBHARAT via New Delhi Railway Station. From Amritsar, you can board BTI JAT EXP from Amritsar Junction. From Kanpur, you can take TATA JAT Exp from Kanpur Central. From Chandigarh, you will need to board KLK SVDK Express via Chandigarh Junction.
By Road. Being one of the three most important mountain passes in the world, Leh, Ladakh is already a very popular travel destination, especially among the adventure enthusiasts bikers. There are mainly two popular routes to visit Leh. One is Srinagar – Sonmarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil – Mulbek – Lamayaru – Saspol – Leh.
And the second one is Manali – Rohtang – Gramphu – Kokhsar – Keylong – Jispa – Darcha – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu – Gata Loops – Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang – Tanglang La – Gya – Upshi – Karu – Leh.
It is important for you to note that the Leh-Manali route is managed by the Border Roads Organization of the Indian Army. While taking this particular route you can consider halting at Sarchu which is a very beautiful place having some good staying options as well.
Another important fact to note here is that all non-HP vehicles will need to obtain a permit from Manali SDM office for travelling beyond Rohtang pass. This decision was brought into effect owing to the increasing number of traffic jams on this route.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here
03 November 2020 - 04 November 2020
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