Fast, Fair and Festivals of India Fast, Fair and Festivals of India
Celebrated In : Leh, Laddakh, Jammu & Kashmir.
Significance : Sindhu is known as one of the largest rivers in World.
In the month of : June
Many rivers and river valleys worldwide have played a significant role in the evolution, sustaining and development of civilisations. Notable amongst these are the Nile, Tigris - Euphrates, Sindhu (Indus) and Hwang Ho-Yang Tse Kyang. Mighty civilisations grew up on the banks of these great river systems. These rivers not only catalysed the production of crops but also facilitated their growth of trade by providing convenient transport lines.
Symbol Of Strength
The mighty Sindhu (Indus) River symbolises 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 civilisation.
History Behind The Sacred River
The river's name comes from Sanskrit word 'Sindhu'. It is mentioned in the Rig Veda, the earliest (circa.1500 BC) chronicle 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.
The journey of Sindhu (also spelt as Sindu) through India transports one to a civilisation going back 5,000 years. The Indus Valley civilization is synonymous from Harappa and Mohenjodaro.
A great Trans-Himalayan river, it is one of the longest rivers in the world with 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.
After flowing eleven miles beyond Leh, Sindhu is joined on the left by its first tributary, the Zanskar, which helps green the Zanskar Valley. Many interesting mountain trails beckon the mountaineering enthusiasts to the Zanskar Valley. The Sindhu then flows past Batalik. The mighty Indus when it enters the plains is joined by its famous five tributaries - the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej - giving Punjab - "Land of five rivers " - its name.
The river Indus was a mute witness to the Kargil war during 1999. The distance between Kargil and Leh is about 230-km.
Historical Prospective
Sindhu is divine. In the beginning was the word. The first recorded word was the Veda. The earliest mention of this great river is in the Vedas. The Sindhu - the cradle of Indian civilisation - finds its most dramatic description in the Rig Veda (circa.1500 BC). When the Vedic seer invokes heaven and earth, he also invokes the Sindhu. The Veda refers to the Ganga only twice; but it makes as many as thirty references to the Sindhu! It is the oldest name in Indian History - and in Indian geography. This is the great Sindhu that gave Sindhu and Hind - its name. The Rig Veda compares the sound of flowing Sindhu to the roar of thunderstorm, indicating the sense of awe inspired by the river in the minds of Aryans. Later on, in the Vedic period, the word Sindhu came to denote the sea, form which the vastness of the river can be gauged. In the Ramayana, Sindhu is seen to be given the title " Mahanadi", which means " the mighty river".
In the Mahabharat, the Sindhu is reverentially mentioned along with other two holy rivers, the Ganga and Saraswati. References to the Sindhu are also seen in many ancient literary works like those of "Kalisada", "Bana", "Panini". The fame of the mighty Sindhu had spread even beyond the subcontinent and it found reflections in the literary works of the Greek and Roman empires. It finds mention in some of the earlier literature of India. Kalidasa says in the "Raghuvansha" that on the advice of his maternal uncle Yudhajat, Rama conferred Sindh on Bharata. Rama's ancestor Raghu's triumphant horses had relaxed on the banks of the Sindhu.
Another great Sanskrit poet, Bhasa , had done a whole play, "Avimark" on the romance of Prince Avimark with Princess Kurangadi of Sindhu - Sauvira.

The Bhavishya Purna says that Shalivahana, the grandson of Maharaja Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Established law and order in " Sindhusthan" and fixed his frontier on the Sindhu.
Anshnath, the eleventh Jain Tirthankar, was a Sindhi. He died in Bengal. The Jaina Dakshinya Chihna (8th century) speaks of Sindhis as "elegant, with a lovely, soft and slow gait. They are fond of songs, music and dance and feel affection for their country".
There is a legend that the great Buddha had graced Sindhi with his visit. Finding the climate extreme, and the area dry and dusty, he had permitted the "Bhikshus" to wear shoes here. He had also permitted the use of padded clothing, forbidden elsewhere. Here 'Sthavitris', the Prince of Rorik or Rohri (Aror or Alor, near modern Rohri) became his disciple. When the Buddha went round his native Kapilavastu in a chariot, it was mentioned that the "four auspicious horses, of lotus colour, had come from Sindhudesh."
To this day, historic Buddhist Stupas are found in Sindh. The Divyavadana (Tibetan version) reports: "The Buddha is in Rajgriha. At this time, there were two great cities in Jampudiv (north India), Pataliputra and Roruka. When Roruka rises, Pataliputra declines; when Pataliputra rises, Roruka declines". Here was Roruka of Sindh competing with the capital of the Magadha Empire. When Bimbisar was the king of the Magadha, he sent Rudrayan, king of Sindhu- Sauvira, a rare portrait of the Buddha. The two powerful ministers of Sindh at the time were Hiroo and Bheru, their names still common amongst the Sindhis!
Chadragupta Maurya first won Sindh and then Punjab. It was from this base that he displaced the Nandas, occupied Pataliputra and established the great Mauryan Empire.
Sindh was part of Dasaratha's empire. When Kekayi goes into a sulk, Dasaratha tells her, 'The sun does not set on my empire. Sindh, Sauvira, Saurashtra, Anga, Vanga, Magadha, Kashi, Koshal - they are all mine". When Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Lord Rama sent the 'Vanaras' (monkeys) to look for her, among other places, in Sindh with its "remarkable swimming horses".
Kashmir's ancient royal history Rajatirangini has many references to Sindh and the Sindhis. Kuya's son Sindhu rose to lead the elephant brigade of Kashmir. He was advisor to Queen Dida. A top honour was "Sindhu Gaja ", Elephant of sindh.
The Sindhu Darshan or Sindhu Festival aims at projecting the Indus as a symbol of India's unity and communal harmony. Whilst promoting tourism to this area, this festival is also a symbolic salute to the brave soldier of India.
Sindhu stands for peaceful coexistence and communal harmony. Sindhu is a symbol of our country's identity and civilisation. The 'Sindhu Yatra' will help forge a bond of unity with those who live in far-flung corners of the country; thus providing them an opportunity to visit the beautiful region of Ladakh.

Day 1: Arrival at Leh. Spending rest of the day in leisure.

Day 2 (Inauguration): Reception of the participants followed by inauguration of the festival on the banks of Sindhu at Shey (about 14-km from Leh on Leh- Hemis Gompa Road). Being a truly National Integration Programme, the reception is jointly conducted by the Ladakh Buddhist Association, Shia Majlis, Sunni Anjuman, Christian Moravian Church, Hindu Trust and Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee.

A ritual prayer is performed by 50 senior Lamas on the banks of the Sindhu. A host of cultural programmes are performed by the representatives of various states. The celebrations on the banks end with a meal for all at lunchtime. The participants ate then taken around for a sight seeing trip. The participants are taken around for a sight seeing trip. The day concludes with a campfire and get together at night.

Day 3: Sindhu Pujan, cultural programmes and sight seeing.

Day 4: Departure
Buddhist monastries and other cultural heritages sites are the principal tourist attractions of central Ladakh and Zanskar. These sites, most within reach of Leh, may be visited by a bus or taxi.

Many of the region's major Gompas are open throughout the day and a caretaker Lama is available to show visitors around. Some of the less visited establishments have special opening hours, as in the case of Namgyal Tsemo, Shey Palace and the Stok Palace Museum.

Hall of Fame, near Leh, is a tribute to our valiant soldiers. About 30-km from Leh, a Sikh gurdwara is also a place worth visiting. The Indian Army maintains it.
Ladakh offers a plethora of adventure options amidst landscapes of breathtaking, rugged beauty. Trekking, mountaineering and river rafting are amongst the most popular sports.

Trekking possibilities include short or daylong walks up and down mountain slopes to visit secluded villages, monastic settlements or across a ridge to enjoy the sheer beauty of lunar mountainscape.
A range of river rafting choices is available on the Indus and its major tributaries. The best stretch for professionally guided runs, in white water, is on the Indus between Spituk and Saspol. Beyond Sapol, the river becomes difficult and rafting requires skilled participants and careful organisation. Upward of Spituk, the Indus has the easiest stretch up to Karu, ideal for basic training. It is equally ideal for day return "scenic floating" for amateurs. Of late, rafting in the Indus has become an attractive alternative to trekking and invariably feature on the itinerary of most visitors.