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Photographer's Note

Concealed in a deep ravine of the world, tourists come the Hemis Gompa (Hemis monastery) round the mountain,(15 kms from Leh, Ladakh known as the Rooftop of the world - geographically below Tibet).

The festival of Hemis Gompa brings families of Ladakhis close together as they begin arriving from all over the valley. Their ornate festival clothing reveals a Tibetan, rather than Indian, heritage.

Seen above is a monk preparing for a dance ritual(a still of the dancing monks is available in my gallery )in the main courtyard of the monastry enveloped by gigantic mountains.

The dances are accompanied by discordant sounds of brass trumpets that are three meters (10 feet) long ( pic in my gallery ).The lamas (monks) get transformed symbolically into demons and gods.

Horned devil-masks and padded brocade outfits come to life as they play out the scriptured battles between good and evil spirits. Lamas with red-robes and tall tufted hats bang on drums and crash symbols together as others gyrate and leap to fight off demons.

Cheers.

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Additional Photos by Sayeed Rahman (sayeed_rahman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 650 W: 14 N: 858] (6461)
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