Ladakh is hidden away in the far, cold reaches of the Himalayas, cut off from the world for most of the year. During summer however, the entire region suddenly springs to life in unparalleled exuberance which continues throughout the brief season. It’s a season of joy and warmth, and Ladakh hosts thousands of travellers from across the world during this time. The festivities last till late September, which is when winter starts again; but before the season changes completely, there’s a last round of celebration, which is the Ladakh Festival. This festival showcases the culture and sports of the region, in a gala of dances, music, handicrafts and sports which lasts a week. It’s organized annually by the J&K Tourism Department. Some highlights of the Ladakh festival 2015 were:
It was celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal and the main aim was to revitalize and showcase Ladakh’s deeply rooted traditions, culture, and heritage for everyone to admire.
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It began with a huge inauguration ceremony which was hosted in Leh, after which a beautiful procession was sent out by various cultural contingents and troupes, school children, dancers, and local leaders. They were adorned in ceremonial costumes, representing the culture of Leh.
The spectacular procession ended at the Polo Ground where the participants then showcased various dances and folk arts of their respective regions.
The celebrations went on for a week during which various programmes and events were organized.These included masked dances, craft stalls, costume dances, stalls set up with local cuisines and drinks, musical concerts, polo matches, Thanka exhibitions, and archery competitions.
It’s one of the best times to plan a trip to Ladakh since it’s a time when you can get the wonderful opportunity as a traveller to experience the lifestyle and culture of Ladakh at close quarters, in this wildly beautiful cold desert.