In Conversation with Losal Dorjay: Weddings and Astrology in Ladakhi Tradition

In Conversation with Losal Dorjay: Weddings and Astrology in Ladakhi Tradition

in Interview
Published on: 30 May 2019

Rigzin Chodon

Rigzin Chodon works as a Research Associate at the Ladakh Arts and Media Organization in Leh. She is the recipient of the Ila Dalmia Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) Research Grant for 2018–19. She has a PhD from the Centre of English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is part of the editorial team for the International Association for Ladakh Studies. Besides presenting papers in national and international conferences, she has also published papers in local magazines and academic journals.

Interview with Losal Dorjay, Ladakh, 2017


Losal Dorjay is an Onpo (astrologer) from Kidmang village, that lies in the Rong Chu rGyud area of Ladakh. He inherited and learnt astrology from his grandfather. His grandfather’s tattered astrology chart now lies carefully with him. These days he uses modern astrology charts that are printed and sold in the Leh bazaar. Apart from working as an astrologer, he is a full-time farmer and practises traditional painting occasionally.

In this interview, Losal Dorjay, talks very briefly about the origin of astrology in China, its passage to Ladakh and how it is used in wedding ceremonies. He also discusses the use of astrological calculations in determining the compatibility between a bride and a groom according to their respective birth charts. Finally, he comments on how the role of an astrologer, especially during weddings, has changed over the years.