Project: National Festivals
Participation Fee: Euro 150.
RC-29/17 Dharamshala-6 Dussehra Festival with Tibetan Culture FEST/CUL 25/09 - 01/10
RC-33/17 Dharamshala-8 Festival of Lights with Tibetan Culture FEST/CUL 16/10 - 22/10
Location: Dharamshala, is a small but internationally well known town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is 70 km north of Pathankot city and 15kms from Kangra town. Dharamshala offers a number of treks to tourists and a good majestic view of great Dhauladhar range of mountains. Dharamshala is a district head quarter for Kangra district and also happens to be the Secretariat of Tibetan spiritual leader, The Dalai Lama. Dharamshala offers tourists culture of Tibet and a different experience. Like any other hilly area, the houses in the area are scattered. The economy of the Tibetans is on tourism whereas that of local villagers is purely dependent on agriculture.
Work: Months of September and November host two prominent Indian festivals of national importance. The dates are decided on yearly basis as per Hindu calendar. These camps are specially organized for those who are interested in Indian history and culture. This period is also supposed to be auspicious for marriages. Besides local festivals, volunteers will have an opportunity to learn of Hindu as well as Tibetan culture and visit some Monasteries. Dussera: Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami, Dasara, or Dashain) is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is a gazetted holiday in India, which is marked on the 10th day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the month of Ashvin (Ashwayuja), according to the Hindu calendar. During 2017, the main festival falls on 30th September. The festivities of Dussehra are celebrated for ten days. The preceding nine days to Dussehra are collectively known as 'Navratri' and are dedicated to the worship of Mother Goddess, Shakti. Dussehra is the culmination of the Navaratri festival. A short version of the epic Ramayana in the form of Raamlila is also performed for 9 days before this festival in Northern India. Diwali: Festival of Lights is a national festival celebrated throughout the country with lot of zeal for 5 days. This main festival, falling on 19th October, 2017, is celebrated with a great fervor just like Christmas and goes on for 5 days. Diwali is followed by other local events like Budi Diwali, viswakarma puja, Bhaiya Dooj etc. In North India, as it is believed that it was on Diwali that Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya after killing the Demon king Ravana in Lanka.
Accommodation: Volunteers will live in guest house with simple conditions and share accommodation with other volunteers. All meals will be cooked and served in guest house. A cook will be there but volunteers are expected to help him and occasionally cook their own meals. Self-management is required. Sleeping bag is required, especially, if you are looking for or interested in trekking.
Leisure time: The volunteers will have opportunity to visit the seat of spiritual leader, the Dalia Lama and other historical Hindu temples. Opportunities will be there for short and long treks in the mountains after the camp. During weekend visit to Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab can also be arranged.
International Terminal: New Delhi (320 Kms); Domestic Terminal: Gaggal/Dharamshala (15 kms) Nearest railway station: Pathankot (60 kms).