Termed as “Kumbh of Himalayas” – is celebrated once in 12 years ( at Hemis Gompa monastery), is a carnival of Buddhist spirituality, culture and tradition.
Naropa (11th century saint)was an Indian Scholar-Saint, who heralded the beginning of a rich tradition in Buddhist philosophy. His teachings of the Six Yogas of Naropa are one of the fundamental pillars of Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. It is also believed that Naropa was the gatekeeper of Nalanda University and posed questions on theology and philosophy to people who came for admission before deciding whether they deserved entrance or not.
Highlights of the Festival : The rare public display of six bone ornaments and the unfurling of the ancient silk ‘Thangka’ of Buddha Amitabha, the largest silk brocade in the Himalayas.
Note: A Thangka is a silk painting usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala on embroidery. A thangka is not flat like a painting but rather is a multi-tiered creation, typically consisting of three layers.
First Naropa festival – 1980. This ( 2016 ) is the fourth edition of Naropa Festival (1000 year anniversary of Naropa’s visit to Ladakh).