Festival - Gu-Stor: Must See India
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(Gu-Stor is also known as Karsha Gu-stor)
by Kapil Upload a photo
In Ladakh, most of the celebrations or festival events are the monastic festivals held annually. The non-monastic festivals are the New Year celebrations or Losar and Ladakh Festival. Dance-dramas form the integral part of the monastic festivals. They take place in the Gompa courtyards. The lamas and the monks do the performance.

Gu-Stor means ‘sacrifice of the 29th day’. A special type of dance is associated with the festival; it represents the defeat of evil by the black hat dancers. The masks that these black hat dancers wear symbolize the guardian divinities and patron divinities of the Buddhist pantheon and patron divinities of the Geluk-pa order respectively. The dance represents the killing of Lang-dar-ma, the Tibetan traitor, by a Buddhist monk. This happened back in the mid 9th century.

This festival run for a period of 2 days, and it is held in the Thiksay, Shachukul, Korzok, Spituk and Karsha (Zanskar) monasteries in Ladakh. The festival takes place at different times in these monasteries every year. You can expect to see the festival being celebrated in the months of January, February, July, August, October and November in the various monasteries.


The end of the festival is marked with the dispersal and dismemberment of the sacrificial cake, ‘Storma’. The Black Hat dancers’ leader does it. This ceremony is known as ‘Argham’ or killing. You may find in some monasteries that effigy is burnt to end all kinds of evils. The spectators include local people who come here to enjoy and also reap the spiritual benefits.

Tourist Essential

A number of tourists visit Ladakh during this festival. Huge crowd heighten the sense of celebration. Travelers from all parts of the world can get accommodation in the various hotels and guesthouses available here with prior booking and gorge on the local delicacies.


by Kapil
by Kapil