Leh and the Ladakh Festival

Our latest video takes in the sites and sounds of the Ladakh festival in Leh, a showcase for Ladakhi culture. Traditional dancing, polo, masked Chaam dances at Spituk monastery, and more.

The festival takes place in September every year, and, although it is clearly geared towards tourists, it is a great way to catch a glimpse of the various ethnic groups of Ladakh and their spectacular clothing. And it’s not just the dancers, many older Ladakhis, dressed in their finest, come to watch the festivities – great for people-watching.

The video begins with an overview of Leh and its surroundings. The first dancers in the video wearing the distinctive turquoise-studded peraks are Ladakhi and Zanskari, whom might be considered the “true Ladakhis.” The people wearing the flower headdresses are Dha Hanu, also known as the Dards, from the border regions near Pakistan. (We often see them in the markets selling dried fruit, they’re absolutely fascinating.) The women wearing red veils represent Muslim Ladakhis, most of whom live in the west near the border with Kashmir.

Please see our note about the posting delay.

8 responses to “Leh and the Ladakh Festival”

  1. avatar laurelle says:

    This is so great! Of course it’s tourist-y; it’s great! How are you going to keep tourists away?

    I want a pair of those little turned-up-toe felt boots and a Ladakhi pony for Christmas.

  2. avatar phunchok7 says:

    [..YouTube..] WOW that was great!!!Thanks for uploading!!

  3. [..YouTube..] Thanks for uploading; visited Leh and the upper Zanskar way back in 1979; one of the earlier years for backcountry tourism in the region.

  4. [..YouTube..] I wish I could’ve been there 20 years ago, it must have been amazing.

    In 2008, we only saw one (!) perak (outside the Ladakh Festival), the traditional headdress Lakakhi women wear.

  5. [..YouTube..] 1979-actually 30 years ago,barely 15 years after the China-India war over the Aksai Chin. From Srinigar to Leh, we took the road sandwiched between Indian and Pakistani heavy artillery near Kargil, scene of the later Pakistani-Indian war. All this only a matter of weeks before the Russians invaded nearby Afghanistan in ’79. Visited valleys as the first ‘tourists’; brutal going to high altitude (20,000 feet) far too soon. There were women wearing the turquoise headwear in Leh, I remember.

  6. [..YouTube..] 30 years – my gosh it’s 2009 🙂

    Don’t you wish you had had a video camera then? Or did you have one?

  7. avatar samueldorje says:

    [..YouTube..] jullay really ladakh is beautyful:) i hope u like it:) its nice to see this video on you tube.. ru coming this year also???

  8. [..YouTube..] anglo-indo-tib culture 🙂

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