SRINAGAR: The five-day Naropa Festival of 2018, one of the Himalayan region’s biggest festivals, concluded with a new Guinness World Record for Ladakh. Earning the title of ‘Largest Ladakhi Dance’, two hundred ninety-nine Ladakhi women gracefully performed the famous dance of ‘Shondol’. Guinness World Records official Swapnil Dangarikar presented the record certificate to the Chairman of the Organising Committee for Naropa Festival 2018.
Headlining the festival were Bollywood singers Sonu Nigam, Kailash Kher, Papon, Aditi Singh Sharma and Akriti Kakar, who performed to massive crowds in one of the highest altitude concert venues in the world, an official handout read.
The festival officially kicked off on 16 September with the unveiling of Naropa’s ‘Crown Ornament’, along with a set of ancient spiritual relics of Buddhist tradition. These rarely-seen holy artifacts were on display for all five days of the festival, drawing large crowds and pilgrims. The “Crown Ornament” on display was one of Naropa’s famed Six Bone Ornaments (Crown, Necklace, Earrings, Bracelets, Seralkha and Apron); it is one of the most revered Buddhist relics, and it is believed to be an offering to Naropa by the ‘Dakinis’ at the time of his enlightenment in Ladakh.
The festival stage also introduced the inaugural class of the Naropa Fellowship, a new one-year, post-graduate academic programme designed to support the next generation of leaders in India and the greater Himalayas.
Representatives and ambassadors from around the world participated in the festival.