Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh, Ladakh, along with Nav Nalanda Maha Vihar, a deemed University based in Nalanda, Bihar the ancient cradle of knowledge and Asoka Mission, a premier Buddhist institution based in New Delhi, come together to bring an International Festival of Yoga, Meditation, Heritage, Culture, Talks, Art and Cinema in Leh, Ladakh from 3-9 September 2012. The objective of the festival is to promote an understanding and appreciation of the diverse ethnic culture of different parts and tribal communities of Ladakh, its ancient and vibrant Buddhist heritage, art and philosophy of Buddhism with the help of talks by eminent masters and scholars, seminar, ethnic exposition, films, cultural performances, photo exhibition, books, handicraft and culinary festival.
Ladakh is renowned world over for its unbroken ancient Buddhist heritage and this festival is being planned to coincide and partner the annual Ladakh Festival, organized every September by J&K Tourism Board. The International Festival of Yoga & Meditation held in September 2011 was path breaking in many aspects and attracted great participation and appreciation of both national and international visitors. By expanding the perimeters to include cultural and ethnic heritage, Buddhist teachings and philosophy as well as art and cinema
The social fabric of Ladakh has been the result of churning it went through for being at the cross roads of great civilisations of India, Central Asia, Tibet, Mongolia and beyond. The ancient Buddhist rock engravings, Mani walls monasteries, hermitage, Chorten spread all over the region tells the story of being the cradle of Buddhism through which the learned masters treaded the journey carrying the precious cargo of wisdom of triple gem along its ancient path to Tibet and far reaches of Mongolia and Russia. The festival truly aims at making the whole event a festive one where the tourists and the people attending can feel and enjoy the vibrant cultural and ethnic diversity ladakh offers.
As part of the festival a one day seminar on Tribal Communities of Ladakh and their Contribution in Preserving the Buddhist Cultural Heritage will be held at MIMC to be participated by eminent national and international scholars including those from Ladakh. To bring forth this ethnic vibrancy as well as promote cultural exchange with other nations with shared Buddhist heritage cultural performances every evening showcasing different ethnic communities by cultural tropes from various parts of Ladakh and international troupes from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore will be the highlight of this festival.
Cinema is a very powerful medium that influence values and perceptions of the people either positively or negatively irrespective of age, race, religion and regions of the world. A festival of Buddhist Cinema is being held as part of the event wherein, each day there shall be screening of different films that shall showcase Buddhism its philosophy and universal human values through the cinematic experience followed by an interaction session of the audience with the film delegates like actors and director of the films. A bouquet of best of award winning feature films and documentaries by eminent masters of the craft will be screed during the 2 days of the festival.
To make this international festival a meaningful experience an exhibition of photographs by Shri Benoy Behl titled The Greatest Journey of Ideas: Spread of Buddhism will showcase a photographic journey of Buddhist art and heritage from 19 countries. Shri. Benoy Behl, is a renowned film maker, art-historian & photographer, who has taken over 35,000 photographs of Asian monuments and art heritage, made a hundred documentaries on art history; his exhibitions have been warmly received in 28 countries around the world.
Every year there is huge number of international tourist and members who come down from all across the globe at Mahabodhi international meditation, Ladakh to participate for yoga and meditation. It’s normally five days workshop and mind training schedule that takes place under the guidance of able gurus and monks who have mastered in yoga, meditation and Buddhist practices. Last year’s festival had attracted huge participation of international delegates and this year too Yoga and Meditation will be the main focus of the festival.
Free medical check up by Amchi, the traditional doctors, preparation of astro- charts, sale of medicines etc will held to promote understanding of this ancient art of holistic healing and cure.
Book exhibition is another prominent feature of this festival and Motilal Benarsidas, world’s foremost publishers of books and journals on Indology, spirituality, religion and philosophy has agreed to participate. Local publishers, libraries and writers will also be invited to participate.
A tour to various monasteries and cultural destinations in Ladakh has been arranged as part of the festival for visiting international and national delegates and participants to provide an insight in the rich living cultural heritage of the region.
This is an opportunity not to be missed in promoting Ladakh as value added branded quality tourist destination in South East Asia both for its geographic and natural beauty but also its rich ancient cultural heritage and diversity as well as Buddhist pilgrimage and knowledge destination. Thus an interactive session between the visiting dignitary, the Hon’ble Tourism Minister of J&K and representatives of local tourism industry has been planned.