Archery: Not only a game but our Heritage

By Mohammad Ali Khan Silmoo Apr 14, 2015
Archery is the traditional game of Ladakh and is played in every corner of Ladakh. It is a very popular game of this region. Polo is also popular but, today Polo is quite neglected as compared to archery. 

In folklores, we hear about it as it is the only source of hunting for the people but gradually it becomes a game and a passion. It is played only in spring season, all the people gather and play with enthusiasm, just like a festival. Even today people idolise the legendary hero Darpon Chhemo, the great archer of the Kesar Saga.

There is no age limit, all the people can participate in this game and enjoy the fun. It is the identity of our region.

The specialty of this game is that it is quite different from national and international Archery, because they have their own rule that has to be applied. It varies in equipments and manners also. 

The competitive shooting takes place according to strict etiquette, to the accompaniment of the music of Surna and Daman. The man in the traditional dress and the women wearing their brightest brocade add essence to the festival.  

So many teams participate in District and block level tournament. 
In Ladakh, archery festivals are held during the summer months and the match consist of three rounds, the pitch is about 80 to 90 ft. and the target has three parts; circle (kildir) has single point, then star shaped called (Tsaga) has two points and the last is small twig just like point called (zar) has nine points. 

Unfortunately, today most of the people try to imitate international system. I think it is not just only a game, but it is our heritage. We are losing our culture with time. Today we are lost in western culture and adopt everything without analyzing it. 

Preserve the old age tradition archery as Ladakh is known for its rich culture and tradition!!!

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