Singey Khabab Festival suspended; 20th Sindhu Darshan Maha Utsav attracts thousands of pilgrims Over 2000 pilgrims from all over the country expected in next year's celebrations

By Stanzin Dasal SHEY, Jun 30, 2016

 The 20th Sindhu Darshan Maha Utsav was celebrated with great enthusiasm from June 23 to 26 at Sindhu Ghat, Shey. The festival was organized by Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti and Ladakh Phanday Tsogspa.

His Eminence Drikung Skyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche the 37th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism,was the chief guest. 

Bringing light to the importance of Mount Kailash and Indus River, His Holiness Skyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche said that the Mount Kailash is very holy and spiritual for all the religion. He further added that the Indus River is an evident of civilization and the name of the country India also derived from this river. All this gives an immense importance to protect the mountain and river. 

Informing about the sacred Mountain Protection His Holiness stressed on protecting the mountains and rivers of the Himalayan range which is also being carried out at an international level.

Focused on the river Indus, Sindhu Darshan was first started in October 1997 with an aim to promote rich culture, communal harmony, and unity in diversity. In 2006, with the fall of NDA Government, the festival was renamed as "Ladakh Singey Khabab Spring Festival". The name was modified to ensure more local participation and free from government restrain. In protest against the change in the name of the festival, Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti, backed by Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS), started organizing its own Sindhu Darshan every year parallel to the one celebrated officially. 

 About the two parallel celebrations of Sindhu festival, Deputy CM, Dr. Nirmal Singh said that this was initiated by the former government who has a different ideology in the past years. He announced that the present ruling government has decided to celebrate only one Sindhu festival and ensured that the communication gap will be bridged and will be supported by the centre and the state government like any other festivals like Maha Kumbh, Amarnath Yatra, Vaishno Devi Yatra.

He added that festivals like Sindhu Darshan has increased the tourism influx in the region and urged everyone to contribute to the development of J&K state through such yatras. 

On the decision of only one Sindhu Darshan celebration this year, Minister for Ladakh Affairs Chhering Dorjay told that the suspension of the official festival is because of the lack of funds as the Government of India has stopped funding for this festival.

Senior RSS leader, Chief Patron, Sindhu  Darshan Utsav, Indresh Kumar, stressed on the development of Sindhu Ghat area. With the growing number of Yatris or pilgrims every year and an expectation of over 2,000 pilgrims in next year, he urged for better facilities from both the Centre and State government.

 During the inauguration of Sindhu Bhavan, he mentioned the vision of establishing Sindhu Shiksha Abhiyan and a common temple for all the religion near Sindhu ghat in the near future.

Talking about the inauguration of Sindhu Bhavan at Shey on June 24, where all the prominent leaders including LK Advani and many were present, Minister of Cooperative and Ladakh Affairs, Chhering Dorjay Lakrook had to walk out of the function. While talking to the media on the issue he said, “I found it better to walk out as no seat was reserved and many chaos were there.”

Surprisingly, the same seating arrangement chaos and lack of proper arrangements were continued on the second day of the festival.

Entertaining colorful cultural programs from different regions were also presented on the occasion. 

Dr. Sonam Dawa- CEC LAHDC Leh, Thupstan Chhewang- MP Ladakh and many other dignitaries were present.