Cham Dance at Spituk Monastery, Ladakh


by IndiTales
published on 07 March 2017
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Cham dance or the dance of Buddhist Lamas wearing elaborate masks is a treat to watch. This video was shot at Gustor Festival of Spituk Monastery located near Leh in Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir.

Buddhist Cham Dance is a ritual dance that is performed in various monasteries in the Himalayas – especially in regions like Ladakh. Every monastery follows its own calendar and celebrates its own Gustor festival. In fact, this is one of the key festivals of Ladakh. When I visited Ladakh in January, I attended the Gustor at Spituk Monastery that is very close to Leh.

It is a colorful dance performed by the lamas with strict rituals and rules – who are otherwise seen praying and living in monasteries located on hilltops. The Himalayan monasteries that are usually a quite spot come alive with these festivals. Dressed in colorful bright elaborate costumes lamas move rhythmically with the live music.

Word Cham comes from hand gestures or mudras that are used extensively in these dances. Hand gestures carry a lot of meaning along with the costume and the symbols carried in hand. For example, a sword is meant to cut off ignorance.

Read more on my travel blog here

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APA Style

IndiTales, . (2017, March 07). Cham Dance at Spituk Monastery, Ladakh. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

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IndiTales, . "Cham Dance at Spituk Monastery, Ladakh." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 07, 2017.

MLA Style

IndiTales, . "Cham Dance at Spituk Monastery, Ladakh." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 07 Mar 2017. Web. 27 Oct 2021.