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Beyond the Sylvam valley of Kashmir lies the enigmatic land of Ladakh. Leh, a fabled city, looms as a sentinel on the ancient silk route from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India. In 400 A.D., the great Chinese traveller Fa-Hsien visited the city and was amazed by its natural grandour. Ladakh presents a mesmerising blend of Buddhist and Muslim cultures.
In the month of September, the moonland Ladakh comes alive with a magic of its own. The people fabulously bedecked with gold and silver ornaments and turquoise headgears throng the streets. Monks in their ritual, regalia, wearing colourful masks, dance to the entrancing rhythm of cymbals, flutes and trumpets. The Yak, Lion and Tashispa dances depict the many legends and fables of Ladakh, the hermit kingdom. Ancient monasteries, sporting flags in a riot of colours, display a ’tankhas’ Archery competitions, a mock marriage, horse-polo and an array of sumptuous Ladakh cuisines are the highlights of the festival.