Celebrated in :
Festival Time :
1st to 15th September
To recreate and boost the richness, depth
and observance of Ladakh centuries.
Organized By :
The J&K Tourism Department in co
action with the local communities and the district administrations of Leh.
Ladakh Festival - Preserving Ladakh
Ladakh festival is a major event organized every year by the J&K
Tourism Department, in collaboration with the local communities and the
district administrations of Leh and Kargil from the 1st to 15th of
September. Its main objective is to revive and promote the richness, depth
and pageantry of Ladakh's centuries-old culture, traditions and folk
heritage for worldwide appreciation and enjoyment.
The Ladakh Festival is a unique project of the State Department of Tourism
to patronize the revival and promotion of Ladakh's age-old traditions and
customs, its cultural heritage and the performing arts. For the tourists
visiting Ladakh, the festival provides an opportunity to witness and
experience the lifestyle and cultural ethos of a people who have lived for
centuries on the crossroads of Asia, receiving and harmonising
socio-cultural and religious influences from their neighbouring societies.
inaugural function is a mega celebration held at Leh with a spectacular
procession in which various cultural troupes and village contingents
participate in full ceremonial costumes, singing songs and performing
various types of dances to the tune of the traditional orchestra. At the
Polo ground, where the procession terminates, the participants break into a
variety of folk and popular dances, presenting the best samples of the
region's performing arts.
A major polo tournament called the "Ladakh Festival Cup" is also
held as part of the festival in which polo teams from different parts of the
region participate. Visitors to Ladakh during this period will have the
opportunity of witnessing this ancient sport of the western Himalayas being
played in its original, wild style with fewer rules and frenzied crowd
The Archery Festival, one of the most interesting festival held during
Ladakh Festival, attracts lots of tourists from all over the India. It is a
type of local programme held in the backwoods of Ladakh. The archery
festival is a test of archery skills, where all males are supposed to
participate passionately, in trying out their skills of perfect aiming in
flip-flop rounds. The women also participate actively in dance rounds. Other
programmes of the festival include a bizarre of evening musical concerts,
mask dances by lamas of selected monasteries and mock marriage ceremonies
complete with all related traditions.
In many parts of Kargil, Ladakh festival is organized and enjoyed in
various ways. Many dances, different sets of games are organized. Of the
major interests and rarity are the Brok Pas cultural programmes which has a
social and cultural platform. Similar programmes are also held in Zanskar
Valley, where the high point is the traditional sport called "Saka",
in which a number of colorfully dressed horses are used in a racing
competition. Besides these another interesting programme is a trade
programme where one can find caravan loaded with traders.