Ladakh: mountains and lakes, monasteries and festivals!

Accompany us in Ladakh: Admire the high mountain lakes, experience the silence of secluded monasteries - and their roaring mask festivals.



Monasteries in Ladakh

The many old monasteries, which are still well preserved in Ladakh, are one of the main attractions for tourists. Many of the monasteries are directly built on steep slopes and gorges, or crown narrow mountain peaks. Others, on the other hand, lie in fertile valleys, between apricot trees, rose bushes and flower gardens, which confuse the eye with the sheer amount of colors.

The monastic communities belong to different traditions or schools with different emphases in Buddhist philosophy and in performing rites. However, the old deities of the pre-Buddhist Bonpos have been included in the canon of faith in all sects and have been converted into Buddhist protective spirits. The numerous beautiful murals inside the monasteries depict old legends and fairy tales as well as Buddhist teachings.

The tradition really comes to life at Buddhist festivals - even though most of them unfortunately take place in winter. There are wild mask dances and tantric rituals in which evil spirits are chased out of the villages by hitting drums and cymbals. Performers in the most colorful costumes exhort people to stay on the true Buddhist path and dances and performances by the children then give the whole thing a happy atmosphere again.

Apart from these festive highlights, the life of the monks and nuns is peaceful and quiet. The days are filled with work, prayer, meditation, study, philosophical debates and the passing on of teachings to the young monks or the lay community. The old writings, which in the form of thangkas form the basis for religious discussions. The older monks are in charge in the strict monastery hierarchy. You determine who can take part in philosophical debates or other aspects of monastic life.

Ladakh, lying on the roof of the world, is an ideal place if you want to escape the hectic pace of modern western life. The monasteries will seem like oases of peace to you.