In Celebration of River Indus

The Sindhu Darshan Festival

River Indus at Leh. Subhamoy Das

The Sindhu Darshan festival is a celebration of River Sindhu or Indus - one of the world's longest rivers, which gave 'India' its name. It is held every year from June 1-3 at Leh, Ladakh in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.

What is Sindhu Darshan?

Sindhu Darshan is a movement, which rediscovered the flowing legend of Ladakh with its imprints of fables, and a 5000 year old history embedded in its fertile silt, which has enriched humankind for ages.

Each turn of the river unfolds a unique culture of the land it passes through.

About the Indus Festival

The Sindhu Darshan Festival aims at projecting the Sindhu as a symbol of multi-dimensional cultural identity, communal harmony and peaceful co-existence in India. Whilst promoting tourism to this area, this festival is also a symbolic salute to the brave soldiers of India who have bravely fought the odds at Siachin, Kargil & other places. The festival promises a kaleidoscope of Indian culture and an exciting array of performing arts being brought together at an exciting place. The first time when this Festival was organized in October 1997, over seventy people from all over India had traveled to Leh for a Darshan and Puja of the River Sindhu (Indus) which originates from the Mansarovar Lake in Tibet.

About River Indus

This great Trans-Himalayan river has an astonishing length of 2900 km. Rising in south-western Tibet, at an altitude of 16,000 feet, Sindhu enters the Indian territory near Leh in Ladakh.The river has total drainage area of about 4,50,000 square miles, of which 1,75,000 square miles, lie in the Himalayan mountains and foothills.

The river's name comes from Sanskrit word 'Sindhu.' It is mentioned in the Rig Veda, the earliest (c.1500 BC) chronicles and hymns of the Aryan people of ancient India, and is the source of the country's name. Words like Hindu, Hindustan and India have been derived from Sindhus and 'Indus,' the name given to Sindhu by foreigners.

Indus in the Vedas

The Vedas are ecstatic about the Indus, the cradle of Indian civilization. "Sindhu in might surpasses all the streams that flow…His roar is lifted up to heaven above the earth; it puts forth endless vigor with a flash of light… Even as cows with milk rush to their calves, so other rivers roar into the Sindhu. As a warrior king leads other warriors, so does Sindhu lead other rivers… Rich in good steeds is Sindhu, rich in gold, nobly fashioned, rich in ample wealth."

Sindhu: The Symbol of Strength

The mighty Sindhu (Indus) river symbolizes the power and permanence of the ancient Indian civilization which evolved over a period of thousands of years. The archaeological discovery of the Indus Valley civilization which flourished along its banks, has reinforced the antiquity of the Indian civilization.

The Symbol of India's Unity

The spirit and the message of the Sindu Darshan Movement is to project the Indus as a symbol of India's unity and communal harmony and is also a symbolic salute to its brave soldiers. The movement also aims at promoting tourism in this far flung region thereby contributing towards the economic well-being of its people. Leh, therefore continues to remain the most appropriate venue for the Sindhu Darshan Abhiyan.

In 2006, this popular spring festival of Ladakh was renamed 'Ladakh Singhey Khabab Spring Festival' by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Tourism Ministry to bring in more Ladakhi flavor and local involvement.