Jammukashmir Festivals

The shrines of Jammu, the valleys of Kashmir and the mountains of Ladakh; the three regions together celebrate innumerous festivals. The Hindu, the Muslim and the Buddhist festivals are celebrated with equal fervour and zeal. Other than the prominent festivals that are celebrated all over India such the national festivals like and the common festivals of Eid and Diwali, there are some other festivals celebrated here with great festivity.

Vaitha-Vatur-Truvah, whichliterally means thirteenth day of source of River Jhelum. It is held at an ancient temple at Verinag, the source of the Jhelum. Hindus and Muslims participate in this festival. The Lohri and the Baisakhi festival that are celebrated throughout the northern regions of India are celebrated in Jammu with great zeal.

The Urs (or Ziarats) is a typical Kashmiri festival. It is held annually at the shrines of Muslim saints on their death anniversaries. Urs of Meesha Sahib, Urs of Batamol Sahib and Urs of Bahauddin are particularly famous. These Urs are popular despite the rigorous weather. Celebrated in different parts of Srinagar, not only Muslims but Hindus and Sikhs also take the blessings. Sindhu darshan festival is another important festival when the Kashmiris come from all over the state to worship the source of the River in Leh. There are many Buddhist Monasteries in the part of Leh as the major population of Leh and Ladakh practices Buddhism.

Few typical Leh Buddhist festivals such as the Yuru Kabgyat celebrated in July. Dances with masks are performed and the masks worn by the lamas during the dances represent guardian divinities. Doscmoche is another ancient festival, still celebrated every year in February with great pomp and fervour. The courtyard of the chapel below the gates of the Leh of the Leh Palace comes alive with the music of drums and the thumping steps of the masked Lamas from different monasteries performing the sacred dance-drama. The Lamas prepare, consecrate and eventually destroy the sacrificial offerings as the climax. The Hemis and the festivals of the Drokpa community are particularly interesting and attract lots of visitors for the celebration

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