Winter Ladakh

Winter Ladakh

When it comes to winter in Ladakh, it’s a whole another experience. While many dread the cold, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The best kept secret of this mystic land is its winter months, when life has a much slower pace but is nonetheless gloomy. Winter months are packed with some of the most amazing festivals, celebrations and adventure sports that one would definitely not witness during the busy summer months.


Losar (New Year)

  • The official new year of Ladakh celebrated in the month of December.
  • Ancient rituals are an integral part of the celebrations, where people bid adieu to the old year and prayers are offered for a prosperous new year.


Spituk Gustor ( January)

  • It’s a two day festival celebrated during the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar.
  • Celebrated at the Spituk monastery, the festival celebrates the victory of good over evil.
  • Its main attraction is the mask dance “Cham”, wherein the monks perform an enchanting dance.


Stok Guru Tsechu (February)

  • Another buddhist festival that falls in the month of February, just one week before Matho Nagrang.
  • It is a two day festival celebrated at Stok village, showcasing the mask dance by the monks followed by the public appearance of oracles to invoke deities and holy spirits.


Matho Nagrang (February/ March)

  • Celebrated at Matho monastery on the 15th day of the first month of Tibetan calendar.
  • One of the main attractions of this festival are the oracles, who after two months of meditation in complete isolation, make their public appearance and offer predictions on the upcoming year.
  • Monks adorned in colourful attires perform the enchanting mask dance “Cham”.


Dosmochey ( February)

  • A two day festival celebrated in the month of February every year, just below the Leh palace.
  • The monks of Takthok monastery renewed for their tantric practices, perform rituals to capture evil spirits and caste them away.
  • The ceremony is completed by burning the ritual offerings , symbolising the elimination of all evil spirits.


Winter sports/ activities

Adventure sports is yet another aspect of winter in Ladakh.


Ice hockey

  • Throughout December, January and February, ice hockey is one of the major sporting events of Ladakh.
  • Played on frozen lakes, this sport has been represented at both national and international level. Witness a match of this adrenaline filled sport.


Ice skating

  • Ice skating on frozen lakes is another winter sports that one can participate in.
  • Ice skating classes are conducted for both locals and visitors. One such institute is SECMOL, where they teach you under their well trained international coaches.


Ice ski

  • This one should definitely be on your bucket list, skiing on the snow slopes of Kargil and Zanskar.


Ice Art

  • An exhibition of ice art is a rare activity but you can witness it here in Ladakh. Over the years it has become one of the main attractions for both the locals and visitors.
  • Performed in the upper reaches of the valley, local artisans and young art enthusiasts from all over the region participate in this art form and make ice stupas and sculptures