Thiksey Gustor Festival in Ladakh

Ladakh attracts people with these two weapons. Festivals are a huge part of Ladakh. Different festivals take place throughout the year. The famous Thiksey Monastery of Ladakh organizes the Thiksey Gustor Festival each year with huge pomp and grandeur.


Thiksey Gustor Festival

About Thiksey Monastery

Thiksey Monastery located in Ladakh is one of the most beautiful and renowned monasteries of Ladakh. This monastery is a part of the Gelupa order of Buddhism culture. The initial monastery was built by Sherab Zangpo at Stakmo. Later, this monastery was reconstructed by the nephew of Sherab Zangpo. This new version of Thiksey Monastery is located at the top most hills with a beautiful surrounding.

A temple named as Lakhang Nyerma is attached to this monastery. This temple has the idol by Goddess Dorje Chenmo and the entire temple is dedicated to this Goddess. Along with this temple there is huge number of shrines that is located inside this monastery. This monastery serves as the homes to many Buddhist monks and Lamas.  

About Thiksey Gustor Festival

This festival is the annual festival of Thiksey Monastery. This continues till two days. The festival includes dance performances of different forms along with special masks. Other rituals are also included. This festival takes place in the 17th and 18th day of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. The word “Gustor” means “sacrificing the 29th day”.

Mask Dance of Thiksey Gustor Festival
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This is a custom of the Tibetan Buddhist religion and hence other two monasteries tend to follow this ritual. According to our calendar this festival takes place in the month of November.

Festive Activities during Thiksey Gustor Festival

The first day of this festival starts with charms and prayers offered by the monks residing inside Thiksey Monastery. Soon after the prayers the dance performances start. In the second day, the leaders of the “Black Hat Dancers” disperse the sacrificial cake and this is known as “killing”. This marks the end of the festival as well as mark the end of evil. The main aim of the festival is to destroy evil and promote good. Hence with the end of the festival they believe all bad things and evil doers come to an end.

Events During Thiksey Gustor Festival

The festival starts with liquid offering ceremony to invite the Gods of four quarters. It is believed that through these offerings Gods come to witness the sacred dance performances and protect all individuals from evil. The Lamas residing in the Thiksey Monastery wears masks of different divinities. In the end the lamas sacrifice a figure made up of dough with their weapons which mark the end of evil.

At Thiksey Gustor Festival


The pieces after this sacrificial cut are distributed in four directions. The last custom of this festival is to burn a statue marking the evil forces. With this burning there ends the Thiksey Gustor Festival organised by the Thiksey Monastery. The masks worn by the Lamas mark the guardian divinities of the Buddhists culture.

People from all over the world come to Ladakh to witness the famous festival. The best part of this festival is since the entire festival takes place inside the monastery you will also get an opportunity to witness the beautiful and magnificent Thiksey Monastery of Ladakh. Our article is surely the best place to know about this festival.

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