Kashmir, the heaven on earth, never fails to amaze us with its charm. The enchanting valleys, beautiful lakes and snow covered mountains are the beauty of the place. Not only nature, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is also diversified in terms of the cultural traditions. People here enjoy all the festivals together, regardless of the religion. Like any other state, Kashmir abounds with many festivals throughout the year. It’s the reflection of their social heritage and diverse culture. This defines the beauty of this holy land.
Let’s have a look at some of the religious festivals of the valley:
Tulip Festival is celebrated in the valley of Kashmir during the onset of Spring Season. With hundreds of Tulip Gardens, the whole Kashmir flourishes with Tulips during the spring season. It is celebrated in Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar. It also features a showcase of cultural programs, delicious cuisines and handicraft. It is a must attend event for the all flower enthusiasts, nature lovers and tulip lovers.
Shikara Festival was started by the Department of Tourism in 2016 to promote the tourism. It is a 2 day long festival organised at Santoor Ghat SKICC on the bank of the Dal Lake. During the festival, many events are being held including Dragon Boat Race, Shikara Race and Canoe Polo Match. Shikaras are also painted and beautifully dressed.
Like Shikara Festival, It was also started by the Department of Tourism . It is celebrated during the summers in the month of July and August every year. Gurez Festival showcase the conventional handicrafts, variety of cuisine and the rich culture along with various sports of the valley. The main attractions of this festival are trekking, rafting, zorbing, cycling and water rafting being the permanent element.
Spituk Gustor Zanskar
The festival of ‘Spituk Gustor’ is a tibetan two-day festival that is celebrated in the Ladakh monasteries of Thiksey, Spituk, and Karsha Nanzkar. It is celebrated every year on 27th to 29th day in the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar. Gustor means sacrifices made on the penultimate day of the month. The characteristic of this festival is the spectacular Black Hat Dance and also the masked dance, which is carried out by the priests. At the end, the sacrificial cake Torma is eaten. Amongst the most ritualistic festival, it represents the victory of good over evil.
The Hemis festival is one of the most famous religious festivals and is an attraction for both the tourist and localites. It is a colorful two day affair that is celebrated on the 10th day (called Tse-Chu in the local language) of the Tibetan lunar month. It is basically the celebration of the birth anniversary of spiritual leader Padmasambhava. He was the founder of Tibet Tantric Buddhism. The Cham Dance is performed by masquerades in vivid brocade dresses and tinted masks. These masks are the most important component of the dance.