Shey (J-K), Mar 8: Villagers in Ladakh prayed at the Shey palace monastery to pray to Lord Buddha for a good harvest. Butter lamps are offered to Lord Budha during the two-day long Shey Doo Lhoo festival.
The festival is celebrated every year at the Shey palace monastery in which, all arrangements are made by the villagers, while special rituals are performed by the monks of the monastery. Over the years the number of villagers making the pilgrimage for the festival has risen. "I have witnessed this Shey Doo Lhoo festival since childhood. The number of visitors has risen this year as compared to last five years" said Eshey Thundop, a villager.
The festival is celebrated annually at the ancient palace on the 25th and 26th of the first month of the Tibetan Buddhist Calendar and is marked by special rituals performed by monks in the main temple and several other religious programmes. The monastery festivals are unique to Ladakh and those marking the passage of seasons are especially enchanting.
The mountainous Ladakh region offers a unique ambience for festivals against the stark mountains attracting hordes of tourists to the region. Shey Palace is on a hilltop about 15 kilometres from Leh. It was built in early 17th century AD by Deldan Namgyal as a memorial for his father, Singay Namgyal.
The palace houses a three storey copper statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. Overlooking the Shey palace are the ruins of the fort built by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen Spalgigon. Shey also has a very large scattering of stupas all across it's landscape.