7th edition of Ladakh Zanskar Festival held Stalls of local arts, crafts, archery exhibition matches, horse races, yak rides were major attractions

By Reach Ladakh Correspondent Zanskar, Oct 01, 2022
Zanskar :

7th edition of Ladakh Zanskar Festival 2022 organised by Department of Tourism and Culture UT Ladakh, District Administration Kargil and LAACL Kargil
 begins on September 29 in Padum. 

Chairman/CEC, LAHDC, Kargil Feroz Ahmad Khan in presence of Executive Councilor Tourism, Er Phunsok Tashi, Secretary Tourism and Culture, UT Ladakh, Kacho Mehboob Ali Khan inaugurated the festival. Around 200 artists from Padum and other parts of Zanskar valley participated. Artists from Leh, Kargil, North Zone Cultural Centre Patiala from Lahaul and Spiti districts of Himachal Pradesh mesmerized the dignitaries’ people with their traditional music and dance performances on the traditional marriage system, religious rituals and other related aspects.

CEC extended his gratitude to local and guest artists from Lahaul and Spiti (Himachal Pradesh) for showcasing and introducing their rich culture and tradition to the people of Zanskar.  

While highlighting the legacy of the rich culture and tradition of Zanskar, Khan said LAHDC Kargil with proactive support of the UT Administration Ladakh is fully committed to developing a sustainable and eco-friendly tourism-related infrastructure in Zanskar. He also said that separate funds have been provisioned to execute various tourism-related developmental work at a larger scale.

Khan expressed optimism that in the coming years, Zanskar will be the epicenter of tourists in the Ladakh region and urged locals to keep their cultural legacy intact adding that apart from mesmerizing landscapes, tourists are interested to know the local art, culture, and traditions.

Local products, artifacts, traditional food items, and other allied products were displayed. 

EC Tashi appreciated the initiative of the UT Administration Ladakh in organizing the two-day cultural festival which aims to boost tourism. He said the event will enlighten the local population about various aspects of traditional folklore and provide an opportunity for tourists, travellers, and researchers to understand the essence of Zanskar.

Secretary Tourism and Culture said that the unique identity of Zanskar holds an important position in today’s globalized world and the place has immense potential to attract tourists from all over the world.

He said the UT Administration has been taking pragmatic steps to promote tourism in Zanskar valley, and in the future local people will witness the change. He said the administration is committed to developing modern facilities including roads, health, education, and telecommunication available to people in rural and far-off areas at their doorsteps.

The Secretary said that apart from the natural attraction like landscapes, Zanskar has huge potential to attract tourists in various other aspects including adventure tourism, winter sports, trekking, and cultural and spiritual tourism. He urged the people associated with the tourism industry, the people of Zanskar to plan things well in advance so that at least minimum required facilities can be made available to tourists visiting the area during the festival period. 

The Secretary requested local representatives, tour operators, guides, hoteliers, and other stakeholders to form an association to furnish inputs for a sustainable tourism policy in Zanskar.

Deputy Secretary, LAACL Kargil in his welcome address expressed gratitude to all dignitaries, artists, and people of Zanskar for their enthusiastic participation in the festival. 

As a part of the festival, parallel activities like traditional archery exhibition matches, traditional horse races, and yak riding were also organized on the occasion. 

Various departments and banks had also put up their stalls to enlighten the general population and the aspiring entrepreneurs about different government schemes while other stalls included those on the local handicrafts and handloom, agricultural products, Zanskari Doksa lifestyle, etc.

During the musical evening, music bands from Leh and Kargil and folk artists presented different performances which were highly applauded by the audience.