Saturday, 19 May 2012

'Sindhu Darshan' of River Indus.

‘Sênggê Zangbo’ means ‘Lion River’ in Tibetan.
‘Abāsin’ means ‘Father of Rivers’ in Pashto.      
Both names are referring to the mighty River Indus or River Sindh – a trans-boundary River that originates in Tibet and flows through Pakistan (93%), India (5%) and China (2%).
Indus (3,180 kms), Brahmaputra (2900 kms) and Ganges (2525 kms) are the top 3 rivers of the 16 major rivers of the Himalayan River System in India. River Indus is world’s 21st largest River in terms of annual flow being fed by glaciers and snow of the Himalayas.
River Indus has two main tributaries – Zanskar (in Ladakh with 2 tributaries – Doda & Lungnak) and Chenab (which flows from J&K to Punjab into 5 tributaries namely Chenab, Beas, Ravi, Sutlej and Jhelum).
River Indus is the very lifeline for millions of people in Tibet, China, Jammu & Kashmir; Punjab and Pakistan. River Indus drives the Economy of the countries especially of that of Pakistan and is the backbone of Industries such as Agriculture, Hydropower, Fisheries, River-Tourism and Transport. River-pilgrimage is central to Hindu Religion and culture all over the world.
The world-famous 'Chadar Trek' refers to a 10-day intensive trek on Zanskar - one of the 2 main tributaries of River Indus which entails trekking on 9-inch thick sheet of river through Zanskar Gorges for kilometres at 20, 000 feet altitude in -40 degrees Celsius.

The Indus Valley Civilization, the Rig Veda and the Greek King – Alexander the Great all throw evidence that River Indus has been around since ancient history, dating back to more than 5000 years. India has been named after this River Indus as River Indus was the cradle of Indian Civilization. No wonder then that this River Indus is revered, feared and worshipped in India.
‘Sindhu Darshan’ is a 3-day festival celebrated in honour of River Indus (also called River Sindh) from 1 – 3 June each year on the banks of River Indus (River Sindhu) at Shey Manla – 8 kms south of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. The event basically heralds River Indus as an icon of National Integrity and Communal Harmony.  
A joint association of Ladakh Buddhist Association; Christian Moravian Church; Hindu Trust; Shia Majlis; Sunni Anjuman and Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee organize the ceremonies, rituals and programs on all 3 days of the festival. The celebrations include:
  • A Prayer conducted on the river banks by 50 senior Buddhist Lamas.
  • A sightseeing tour of River Indus and its environs plus a bonfire by the river.
  • Cultural Programs performed by artists from various parts of the country.
  • Puja of River Indus.
  • Symbolic representation of mingling cultures – people from other parts of the country bring water from their respective rivers and pour into River Indus symbolizing unity in diversity.
If you’re planning a vacation to Leh / Ladakh in June then be there for the Sindhu Darshan festival when you can see people of multi-faith backgrounds converging at River Indus to pay respects to the River. You’re guaranteed to get some Kodak-moments here.

Pix courtesy Parallelozero, Nomadier, Thrillophili.

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