Naropa Festival – ‘The Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas’ – 16-22 September 2016

The Drukpa Order announces dates for the once-in-12-years Naropa Festival; invites everyone to be a part of the largest Buddhist Festival in the world.


H.E. Kyabjey Thuksey Rinpochey


Thuksey Rinpoche

Ladakh based Drukpa Order- the leading sect of Himalayan Buddhism announced the dates for the ‘Naropa 2016’ – a grand spiritual celebration that happens once in 12 years. Christened after the Indian scholar-saint Naropa, this is the biggest and most prominent Buddhist festival in the world and attracts tourists from across the globe. Referred to as the “Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas”, the Naropa Festival 2016 commemorates the millennial birth anniversary of Naropa in a month-long celebration throughout September at Hemis Monastery, the seat of the Drukpa Order in Leh.

Half a million people are expected to attend the festival this year, that promises to be a unique mix of spirituality, culture and diversity. It will feature performances by Bollywood celebrities and several high profile dignitaries from across the globe. His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, one of the regents of the Drukpa Order, announced the dates of Naropa 2016 at the recently concluded Hemis Festivalin Leh.

Naropa is the patron Saint of the Drukpa Order whose life heralded the beginning of a rich tradition in Buddhist philosophy. Himalayan Buddhism and its offshoots across Central Asia are steeped in the teachings of Naropa who played a defining role in shaping the culture and identity of various communities. Saint Naropa resided in Ladakh, where he mastered the “Six Yogas of Naropa.” These are now meditational pillars of Vajrayana Buddhism, and are fundamental to nearly every school and lineage of the greater Himalayas. His message of experiential learning and active compassion continue to be the fundamental principles of the Drukpa Order and have earned the lineage a robust global following.

The Naropa Festival will feature an elaborate ceremony where His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa– spiritual head of the Drukpa Order who is revered as Naropa’s reincarnation, shall don the Six Bone Ornaments that are the physical legacy of Saint Naropa– left behind after his liberation.

Key highlights of Naropa 2016:

16th September 2016 ▪            His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa dons the Six Ornaments of Naropa – which are said to provide ‘liberation on sight’ to all those who witness it

▪            A Fashion Parade showcasing the unique culture and tradition of Ladakh and the fusion with modern world

▪            Performance by renowned Bollywood Singer KK

17th September  2016 ▪            Public Display of Six Bone Ornaments

▪            Performances by Bollywood music director & producer Vishal & Shekhar

18th September 2016 ▪            Rare opportunity to learn about the teachings of the Lineage disseminated by Drukpa Masters themselves

▪            Performances by regional celebrities from Ladakh and Kashmir

▪            Performances by Bollywood Choreographer Terence Lewis & his troupes.

19th September 2016 ▪            Unfurling of silk Thangka of Buddha Amitabha – the largest silk brocade in the Himalayas

▪            Traditional archery competition

▪            Musical concert with Music Director Trio Shankar, Ehsaan Loy

20th September 2016 ▪            50 stanzas on Guru Devotion by His Holiness the 12thGyalwang Drukpa

▪            Competitions to engage with Ladakhi youth

▪            Performances by Rahul Kharbanda, Sivamani and Deepak Pandit & Friends

21st September 2016 ▪            Performance by Shakti Mohan (winner, Dance India Dance) with local students

▪            A special tribute Performance by Bollywood Singer Neeti Mohan to Saint Naropa.

22nd September 2016 ▪            Closing ceremony with 1 lakh Ganachakra offering

▪            A grand concert in honour of Saint Naropa by celebrity singer Shreya Ghosal

I can’t wait to be a part of this wonderful festival, you should totally join me! 

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