Today I’m featuring a fascinating picture taken during the Mulbekh Monastery Festival by Pooja & Swapnil Shah from the Fairytale Studios Blog.
Pooja & Swapnil are a writer-photographer couple and travel addicts.
They believe there is so much beauty all around them that it is simply not worth spending the majority of their lives behind 4 walls or in a cubicle.
They strive to see these numerous fairytales that the world and this life has to offer and document everything on their blog.
Seeing local people lead their everyday lives, learning their ways and capturing a piece of their culture in words and images drives Pooja & Swapnil.
Photo Story: Mulbekh Monastery Festival
Enroute to a highly remote region in the Himalayas called Zanskar, we happened to pass by a Mulbekh Monastery. We were pleasantly surprised to know the locals were celebrating an annual festival here.
People from many nearby villages attend this festival to celebrate the victory of good over evil with colours, flowers, dance and music.
Men and women adorned in colourful traditional attire dance their hearts out in the festival.
We were left in trance watching the sea of pretty faces around us, some wrinkled with a lifetime of festivals behind them and some fresh with a lifetime of celebrations ahead of them.
Despite having no planned halt at Mulbekh, we stood in the monastery for 4 hours dancing, clicking and enjoying as if it was our festival.
We almost forgot that we were just tourists visiting this fascinating place, meeting these beautiful people and we must move on.
This picture is of one such Ladakhi woman dancing in Mulbekh Monastery Festival.
We were intrigued by the traditional dresses of women – a colourful dress, metallic and beaded necklaces, a turquoise stone studded headgear (called Perak).
And a bright feathery scarf that flowing down their back tied around the shoulders. The most unusual and beautiful was the headgear – Perak.
We learnt that these are made of leather covered by turquoise stones weighing up to 3 kgs.
Perak is a symbol of status amongst Ladakhi women and number and quality of stones denote wealth and position in society.
It is passed on by mothers to eldest daughters when they get married. This is one of the many pretty pictures from that eventful day that is close to our hearts.
Mulbekh Monastery or Mulbekh Gompa is said to consist of two gompas and a huge statue of Mulbekh Chamba or future Buddha.
These gompas are dramatically situated at the very top of a cliff 200 metres above the road.
Mulbekh is famously known for this 8m high rockcarved Maitreya Buddha which is over 1000 years old.
Mulbekh Monastery Festival is a lesser known festivals of Ladakh, nevertheless it is very beautiful and interesting to observe how people celebrate the victory of good over evil.
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