Top 19 Exciting Jammu Kashmir Festivals you Shouldn’t Miss

jammu kashmir festivals

Best Activities and Things to do in Kashmir for Top Most Fun

If you want to know the best festivals in Jammu Kashmir, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered all the necessary information and the top 19 Festivals of Jammu Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir, located in the northern part of India, is known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The region is often described as “Paradise on Earth” because of its breathtaking beauty. However, what makes Jammu and Kashmir truly special is its vibrant and diverse cultural festivals. These festivals in Kashmir are a testament to the rich traditions and customs that have been preserved and celebrated for centuries. They not only showcase the cultural diversity of the region but also bring people together in joyous celebration.

Top Festivals in Jammu Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir host numerous festivals that reflect the unique blend of cultures and traditions. Here, we will explore some of the most significant festivals celebrated in this beautiful region.

1. Galdan Namchot the Festival of Kashmir

Galdan Namchot is one of the most important festivals in Ladakh, a part of Jammu and Kashmir. This festival marks the birth anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa, a famous Tibetan saint and the founder of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence by the people of Ladakh.

During Galdan Namchot, monasteries and homes are beautifully decorated with lamps and lights. The highlight of the celebrations is the special prayers and rituals performed in monasteries. Monks and locals gather to chant prayers and offer butter lamps to honor Je Tsongkhapa. Traditional dances and music performances are also a significant part of the festivities.

Galdan Namchot usually falls in December, making it a perfect time to experience the winter charm of Ladakh while witnessing its rich cultural heritage.

2. Spituk Gustor Zanskar the Festival of Kashmir

Spituk Gustor is another traditional festival celebrated in the monasteries of Ladakh, particularly in Spituk Monastery. This festival, which usually takes place in January, is known for its vibrant rituals and dramatic reenactments. The term “Gustor” means “sacrifice,” symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

During Spituk Gustor, monks perform various religious ceremonies and masked dances called Cham dances. These dances are not only a form of worship but also a way to depict the triumph of virtue over vice. The monks wear elaborate costumes and masks representing different deities and demons. The festival culminates in the burning of a symbolic effigy, signifying the destruction of evil forces.

Spituk Gustor is a captivating experience for visitors, offering a glimpse into the deep spiritual and cultural roots of Ladakh.

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3.Hemis Festival the Festival of Kashmir

The Hemis Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Jammu Kashmir. It takes place at the Hemis Monastery, which is one of the largest and wealthiest monasteries in Ladakh. This festival is celebrated every 12 years and is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, who is believed to be the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.

Honoring Lord Padmasambhava:

The Hemis Festival honors Lord Padmasambhava, who is credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. The festival is a celebration of his birth anniversary, and it aims to bring good health and spiritual strength to the people.

Unique Features and Dances:

During the festival, you can witness colorful and vibrant masked dances known as Cham dances. These dances are performed by the monks of the Hemis Monastery. The dancers wear elaborate costumes and masks, representing various gods and demons. The performances are accompanied by traditional music played on drums, cymbals, and trumpets, creating an enchanting atmosphere.


The Hemis Festival is usually held in the month of June or early July, depending on the Tibetan lunar calendar. It lasts for two days and attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world.

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4. Tulip Festival of Kashmir

The Tulip Festival is a modern celebration that takes place at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar, which is the largest tulip garden in Asia. This festival is one of the most beautiful festivals in Kashmir and showcases the stunning beauty of the region’s tulip blooms.

Timeframe and Activities:

The Tulip Festival usually takes place in April when the tulips are in full bloom. During this time, visitors can enjoy walking through the garden’s colorful rows of tulips, which come in a variety of vibrant colors like red, yellow, pink, and white. The festival also features cultural programs, local handicraft stalls, and traditional Kashmiri music and dance performances.

Importance for Tourism:

The Tulip Festival plays a significant role in promoting tourism in Jammu Kashmir. It attracts thousands of tourists, both domestic and international, who come to witness the breathtaking beauty of the tulip garden. The festival helps boost the local economy and showcases the cultural heritage of the region.


The Tulip Festival is usually held in the first two weeks of April. The exact dates may vary depending on the blooming season and weather conditions.

5. Losar festival in Jammu Kashmir

Losar is the New Year celebration in Ladakh, marking the start of the Tibetan New Year. It is one of the most important festivals in Jammu Kashmir and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy.

Traditions and Customs:

During Losar, people clean and decorate their homes, prepare special dishes, and visit monasteries to offer prayers. They also light butter lamps and make offerings to the gods for a prosperous and peaceful year ahead. Traditional dances, music, and performances are a significant part of the celebrations.

Cultural Significance:

Losar holds immense cultural significance as it represents the victory of good over evil and the arrival of a new year filled with hope and blessings. It is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and exchanging gifts. The festival also helps preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh.


Losar is celebrated according to the Tibetan lunar calendar, usually in the month of December or January. The exact date varies each year based on the lunar cycle.

These festivals in Kashmir, including the Hemis Festival, Tulip Festival, and Losar, highlight the rich cultural and traditional diversity of the region. They offer a unique experience for visitors and are a testament to the vibrant cultural heritage of Jammu Kashmir.

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6. Sindhu Darshan Festival

Celebration of the Sindhu River:

The Sindhu Darshan Festival is a special event that celebrates the Sindhu River, also known as the Indus River. This river is very important to the people of India because it has been a source of life and civilization for thousands of years. The festival takes place in Leh, Ladakh, and brings together people from all over the country to honor the river and its significance.

Activities and Ceremonies:

During the Sindhu Darshan Festival, there are many activities and ceremonies. People perform traditional dances and sing folk songs. They also hold a special ceremony where water from different rivers in India is poured into the Sindhu River, symbolizing the unity of the country. There are cultural programs, music concerts, and exhibitions showcasing the rich heritage of the region. The festival is a great way to experience the local culture and traditions of Ladakh.

Unity and Diversity Theme:

The main theme of the Sindhu Darshan Festival is unity and diversity. It celebrates the idea that people from different parts of India can come together to celebrate their shared heritage. The festival promotes peace and harmony among different communities and encourages people to appreciate the cultural diversity of the country.


The Sindhu Darshan Festival is usually held in June, around the full moon day (Purnima). This timing makes it a perfect event to attend if you are exploring festivals in Jammu Kashmir during the summer months.

7. Amarnath Yatra

Pilgrimage to the Amarnath Cave:

The Amarnath Yatra is one of the most important pilgrimages in Hinduism. It involves a journey to the Amarnath cave, which is located in the Himalayas of Jammu and Kashmir. Inside the cave, there is a naturally formed ice Shiva Lingam, which is considered to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva. Devotees from all over India come to pay their respects and seek blessings.

Religious Significance:

The Amarnath Yatra holds great religious significance for Hindus. According to legend, it is in this cave that Lord Shiva revealed the secret of immortality to his consort, Goddess Parvati. The yatra is a way for devotees to show their devotion and to cleanse their souls by undertaking this sacred journey.

Journey and Experiences:

The journey to the Amarnath cave is challenging but rewarding. Pilgrims can choose to walk, ride ponies, or be carried on palanquins. The trek offers breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains and lush green valleys. Despite the tough conditions, the journey is filled with a sense of spiritual fulfillment and camaraderie among the pilgrims. There are also facilities and camps set up along the route to provide rest and refreshments.


The Amarnath Yatra takes place during the months of June to August. The exact dates vary each year based on the Hindu calendar, but it typically starts in late June and continues until early August. This period is the best time to visit if you want to participate in this holy pilgrimage.

8. Ladakh Festival

Harvest Festival in Ladakh:

The Ladakh Festival is a vibrant celebration that marks the harvest season in Ladakh. It is a time of joy and thanksgiving, where the people of Ladakh come together to celebrate their rich cultural heritage. The festival showcases the unique traditions and customs of the region, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in experiencing festivals in Jammu Kashmir.

Cultural Troupes and Performances:

During the Ladakh Festival, there are many cultural performances by local troupes. These performances include traditional dances, music, and theatrical presentations. The dancers wear colorful costumes and masks, and they perform intricate dance moves that tell stories from Ladakhi folklore and history. The music, played on traditional instruments, adds to the festive atmosphere.

Traditional Sports Events:

In addition to the cultural performances, the Ladakh Festival also features traditional sports events. These events include archery competitions, horse polo matches, and wrestling contests. These sports are an important part of Ladakhi culture, and the festival provides an opportunity for locals and visitors to enjoy these exciting activities.


The Ladakh Festival is held in September. The exact dates may vary, but it usually takes place in the first two weeks of the month. This timing allows visitors to experience the festival during the pleasant autumn season in Ladakh.

9. Matho Nagrang

Monastic Festival at Matho Monastery:

Matho Nagrang is a fascinating festival held at the Matho Monastery in Ladakh, which is part of the beautiful region of Jammu Kashmir. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion by the monks and local people. The Matho Monastery, perched on a hill, is adorned with colorful flags and decorations during the festival, making it a sight to behold.

Traditional Dances and Oracles:

One of the most unique aspects of Matho Nagrang is the performance of traditional dances by the monks. These dances are vibrant and energetic, often telling stories from Buddhist mythology. Another highlight is the appearance of the oracles, known as “Rongsten.” These oracles go into a trance and perform incredible feats, believed to be guided by divine spirits. The oracles provide predictions and blessings, which are eagerly awaited by the attendees.

Unique Cultural Expressions:

Matho Nagrang is a celebration of Ladakh’s rich cultural heritage. The festival showcases the region’s traditional music, colorful costumes, and unique rituals. It’s a time when the community comes together to honor their traditions and share their culture with visitors.


Matho Nagrang is usually celebrated in February or March, depending on the lunar calendar. It’s a two-day festival that draws visitors from all over to experience the mystique and charm of Ladakhi culture.

10. Dosmoche:

New Year Festival in Ladakh:

Dosmoche, also known as the “Festival of the Scapegoat,” is a significant New Year festival celebrated in Ladakh. This festival marks the end of the Tibetan New Year celebrations and is one of the most important festivals in the region.

Music, Dance, and Rituals:

During Dosmoche, the streets of Ladakh come alive with music and dance. The monks perform cham dances, which are masked dances that depict stories of good versus evil. These dances are accompanied by traditional music played on drums, horns, and cymbals. Rituals are conducted to drive away evil spirits and bring peace and prosperity to the community. The highlight of the festival is the construction of a large structure made of threads, known as “Dosmo,” which is later burnt to symbolize the destruction of evil.

Community Involvement:

Dosmoche is a time for the entire community to come together. People from different villages gather to participate in the celebrations. It’s a time for socializing, feasting, and strengthening community bonds.


Dosmoche is celebrated in February, usually around the 15th day of the Tibetan lunar calendar. The festival lasts for two days and is held in various monasteries across Ladakh, including Leh and Likir.

11. Lohri:

Celebrated in Jammu Region:

Lohri is a vibrant festival celebrated with much joy in the Jammu region of Jammu Kashmir. It marks the end of the winter season and the onset of spring, bringing warmth and happiness to the people.

Onset of Spring and Harvest Festival:

Lohri is primarily a harvest festival that signifies the harvesting of sugarcane crops. It’s a time to thank the Sun God for the bountiful harvest and to pray for prosperity. Bonfires are lit in the evening, and people gather around them to sing traditional songs and dance.

Traditional Dances and Customs:

During Lohri, traditional dances like Bhangra and Gidda are performed around the bonfire. People throw sesame seeds, popcorn, and puffed rice into the fire as offerings. Families and friends come together to share sweets and festive foods like gajak, rewri, and tilgul.


Lohri is celebrated on January 13th every year. It’s a joyous occasion that brings together communities to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of a new season.

12. Baisakhi

Harvest Festival Celebrated in Jammu:

Baisakhi is a major festival celebrated with great enthusiasm in the Jammu region of Jammu Kashmir. It marks the harvest of the Rabi crops and is a time of thanksgiving and joy.

Cultural and Religious Activities:

Baisakhi is celebrated with a mix of cultural and religious activities. People visit gurdwaras (Sikh temples) to offer prayers and seek blessings. The day is also marked by processions, music, and dance performances. Traditional Bhangra and Gidda dances are performed in open fields, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Fairs and Community Gatherings:

One of the highlights of Baisakhi is the organization of fairs, known as “Baisakhi Melas.” These fairs are filled with vibrant stalls selling traditional foods, clothes, and handicrafts. People from nearby villages come together to celebrate, making it a time for socializing and community bonding.


Baisakhi is celebrated on April 13th or 14th every year. It marks the beginning of the new harvest season and is a day of immense joy and celebration for the people of Jammu.

13. Bahu Mela

Festival at Kali Temple in Bahu Fort:

The Bahu Mela is a vibrant festival celebrated at the ancient Kali Temple in Bahu Fort, located in Jammu. This festival is held twice a year, during the months of March-April and September-October.

Twice a Year Celebrations:

The Bahu Mela is celebrated twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. This allows people to enjoy the festivities in different seasons, experiencing the temple and the surrounding area in both the blooming and harvesting times of the year.

Key Attractions and Activities:

During the Bahu Mela, the main attraction is the grand worship of the Goddess Kali. Devotees come from far and wide to seek blessings. The festival features traditional music and dance performances, adding to the joyous atmosphere. There are also many stalls selling local crafts, food, and other items, making it a bustling and colorful event. Additionally, people enjoy boat rides in the nearby Tawi River.


The Bahu Mela is celebrated twice a year, typically around March-April and September-October.

14. Chaitre Chaudash

Celebrated at Uttar Behni:

Chaitre Chaudash is a significant festival celebrated at Uttar Behni, a sacred site near Jammu. This festival holds immense religious importance and attracts many devotees.

Religious Significance:

The festival of Chaitre Chaudash is dedicated to the worship of the Goddess Kali. It is believed that worshipping the goddess on this day brings prosperity and removes obstacles from one’s life. Pilgrims visit the temple to offer prayers and perform rituals.

Cultural Highlights:

Chaitre Chaudash features various cultural activities. Traditional music and dance performances are an integral part of the celebrations. People also engage in singing devotional songs and reciting religious texts. The festival provides a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.


Chaitre Chaudash is celebrated during the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar, which usually falls in March or April.

15. Purmandal Mela

Shivratri Celebrations in Jammu:

Purmandal Mela is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Jammu during the festival of Shivratri. This mela, or fair, takes place at the Purmandal Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Key Sites and Rituals:

The main site of the Purmandal Mela is the Purmandal Temple complex. Devotees from all over the region gather here to perform rituals and offer prayers to Lord Shiva. The rituals include bathing in the holy Devika River and performing special pujas (prayers) at the temple. The temple area is beautifully decorated with lights and flowers, creating a festive ambiance.

Community Participation:

The Purmandal Mela is a community event where people come together to celebrate their faith and culture. Local artists perform traditional music and dance, and there are various stalls selling local delicacies, crafts, and other items. The community spirit is strong, with people of all ages participating in the festivities.


The Purmandal Mela takes place during Shivratri, which usually falls in February or March.

16. Jhiri Mela

Tribute to Baba Jitu:

Jhiri Mela is an annual fair held in honor of Baba Jitu, a farmer who became a folk hero due to his selfless sacrifice. This mela is celebrated at Jhiri village, located near Jammu.

Cultural Significance and Activities:

The Jhiri Mela holds deep cultural significance as it commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of Baba Jitu. The fair attracts thousands of people who come to pay their respects and participate in the festivities. The mela features traditional music and dance, storytelling sessions, and performances that depict the life and legacy of Baba Jitu. There are also stalls selling traditional crafts, food, and agricultural products, reflecting the rural heritage of the region.

Annual Fair Highlights:

One of the highlights of the Jhiri Mela is the large gathering of devotees who visit the shrine of Baba Jitu to offer prayers and seek blessings. The fairgrounds are filled with colorful tents and stalls, creating a lively atmosphere. People enjoy various rides, games, and cultural performances throughout the fair.


The Jhiri Mela is held annually in the month of November.

17. Shikara Festival

Celebrating the Dal Lake Shikaras:

The Shikara Festival is a special event in Kashmir that celebrates the famous wooden boats, called shikaras, that float on the beautiful Dal Lake. These boats are a big part of life in Kashmir. During the festival, people decorate their shikaras with colorful flowers and lights, making the lake look like a sparkling jewel.

Activities and Races:

One of the most exciting parts of the Shikara Festival is the boat races. People gather to watch the shikaras race across the lake, cheering for their favorite teams. Besides races, there are many fun activities like musical performances, dance shows, and games for everyone to enjoy. The whole festival is a joyful celebration that brings together locals and tourists.

Promoting Tourism:

The Shikara Festival helps to promote tourism in Kashmir. Many people visit just to see the beautifully decorated boats and enjoy the lively atmosphere. The festival shows off the unique culture and traditions of Kashmir, making it a perfect time for visitors to experience the local way of life.


The Shikara Festival usually takes place in July, making it a great time to visit if you want to see this colorful event and enjoy the warm weather.

18. Gurez Festival

Held in Gurez Valley:

The Gurez Festival is held in the picturesque Gurez Valley. This valley is known for its stunning natural beauty, with mountains, rivers, and lush greenery. The festival is a celebration of the local culture and traditions, bringing together people from all over to enjoy the scenic beauty and cultural showcases.

Scenic Beauty and Cultural Showcases:

During the Gurez Festival, visitors can explore the beautiful valley and enjoy cultural performances like traditional music and dance. There are also displays of local crafts and artworks, giving visitors a chance to see the rich heritage of the region.

Fun Activities and Competitions:

The festival includes many fun activities such as sports competitions, adventure games, and local food stalls. Visitors can participate in or watch these activities, making the festival a fun and engaging experience for everyone.


The Gurez Festival is typically held in July, which is a perfect time to visit the valley when the weather is pleasant and the scenery is at its best.

19. Saffron Festival

Celebrated in Pampore:

The Saffron Festival is celebrated in Pampore, a town known for producing the world-famous Kashmiri saffron. This festival highlights the saffron harvest, an important event for the local farmers and a significant part of Kashmir’s agricultural heritage.

Harvesting of Saffron:

During the Saffron Festival, visitors can see how saffron is harvested. They can walk through the saffron fields and watch the delicate process of picking the saffron flowers. This is a unique opportunity to learn about saffron cultivation and appreciate the hard work of the farmers.

Cultural Programs and Stalls:

The festival features cultural programs including traditional music, dance, and drama performances. There are also many stalls selling saffron products, local crafts, and delicious Kashmiri food. Visitors can buy fresh saffron and other local specialties, making the festival a great place to shop for unique gifts.


The Saffron Festival is held in October, during the saffron harvest season. This is the best time to visit Pampore to see the fields in full bloom and experience the vibrant festival atmosphere.


Summary of the Vibrant Festival Culture in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir are home to many vibrant festivals that celebrate the region’s rich culture and natural beauty. From the Galdan Namchot to the scenic Gurez Festival and the unique Saffron Festival in Pampore, each event offers a special glimpse into the traditions and life of the people in this beautiful part of India.

These festivals in Kashmir are more than just events; they are experiences that bring people together, showcase local traditions, and promote the beauty of the region. Whether you are a local resident or a visitor, attending these festivals will give you unforgettable memories and a deeper appreciation for the culture of Jammu and Kashmir.

Final Thoughts on the Cultural Richness

The cultural richness of Jammu and Kashmir is truly remarkable. The festivals in Jammu Kashmir reflect the diversity and beauty of the region, making it a must-visit destination for anyone who loves vibrant traditions and stunning landscapes. So, plan your trip to experience the magical festivals in Kashmir and create memories that will last a lifetime.

FAQs for Festivals in Jammu Kashmir

  1. What is the best time to visit Jammu and Kashmir for festivals? The best time to visit Jammu and Kashmir for festivals is between April and October. This period includes major festivals like the Tulip Festival in April, the Gurez Festival in June, and the Saffron Festival in October. The weather during these months is also pleasant, making it ideal for travel and outdoor activities.

  2. What is the Tulip Festival, and when is it held? The Tulip Festival is a vibrant event held in the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar. It celebrates the blooming of thousands of tulips and typically occurs in April. The festival features cultural performances, food stalls, and photography contests, attracting tourists from all over the world.

  3. What activities can I enjoy during the Gurez Festival? During the Gurez Festival, visitors can enjoy traditional music and dance performances, exhibitions of local crafts, and traditional sports like archery and horse riding. The festival also features stalls with local food and handicrafts, providing a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Gurez Valley.

  4. What makes the Saffron Festival unique? The Saffron Festival, celebrated in Pampore, highlights the harvesting of saffron, one of the most precious spices in the world. Visitors can learn about the saffron harvesting process, watch cultural performances, and buy saffron and other local products from the stalls. The festival usually takes place in October.

  5. Are there any specific festivals that showcase Kashmiri cuisine? Many festivals in Jammu and Kashmir feature stalls that offer traditional Kashmiri cuisine. The Tulip Festival, for example, has food stalls serving local dishes like Rogan Josh, Yakhni, and Dum Aloo. These festivals provide a great opportunity to taste and enjoy authentic Kashmiri flavors.

  6. What should I pack when visiting Kashmir for festivals? When visiting Kashmir for festivals, pack light clothing for the day and warm layers for the night, as temperatures can vary. Also, bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, comfortable walking shoes, and a reusable water bottle. If visiting during the Saffron Festival in October, pack warmer clothing.

  7. How can I participate in the festivals in Jammu and Kashmir? Visitors can participate in festivals by attending cultural programs, joining in activities like photography contests and traditional sports, and visiting stalls that offer local crafts and food. It’s advisable to check the local event schedules and any entry requirements in advance.

  8. What are some safety tips for attending festivals in Kashmir? Always check the weather forecast before heading out to a festival. Carry necessary medications and a basic first aid kit. Stay updated on road conditions and follow local guidelines. It’s also a good idea to keep cash handy, as card payment facilities might not be available everywhere.

  9. Are the festivals in Jammu and Kashmir family-friendly? Yes, the festivals in Jammu and Kashmir are family-friendly. Events like the Tulip Festival, Gurez Festival, and Saffron Festival offer activities suitable for all ages, including cultural performances, food stalls, and exhibitions. Children can enjoy pony rides, nature walks, and interactive displays.

  10. How do festivals in Jammu and Kashmir promote tourism? Festivals in Jammu and Kashmir showcase the region’s natural beauty, cultural heritage, and traditional crafts, attracting tourists from all over the world. They provide a platform for local artisans and performers to display their talents and products, boosting the local economy and promoting cultural exchange.

  11. What is the main festival of Kashmir?

  • Muslim Holidays: Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha
  • Harvest Festivals: Lohri, Baisakhi, Saffron Festival, Nurie
  • Religious Observances: Shivratri, Vaisakhi (Buddhist), Navratri, Diwali, Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra, Amarnath Yatra, Nufail (harvest)
  • Cultural Events: Tulip Festival, Hemis Festival (Buddhist), Dosmoche (Ladakh), Urs (Sufi Saints), Gureh Festival, Sindhu Darshan Festival
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