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Monks and nuns follow His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, leader of the Buddhist Drukpa Lineage, who led a 400 kilometre walking pilgrimage known as the Pad Yatra , over the Himalaya's from Manali in Himachal Pradesh to Hemis Monastry located 43kms outside Leh in Ladakh. The trek, taking six weeks and taking participants through altitudes as high as 5200 metres, attracted up to 600 followers including nuns , monks and foreigners. The theme was raising awareness of His Holiness' charitable projects including education , environment and cultural preservation of tribal people from the area. The Pad Yatra is a journey to a sacred site and in this case the route ended at Hemis Monastery for the famous two day Hemis Festival featuring ancient dancing and Buddhist rituals drawing crowds of people from Ladakh and around the world.
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