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4-day Ladakh festival begins in Leh

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LEH: The four-day extravaganza of the annual Ladakh festival, celebrating the uniqueness of the Union Territory, commenced here on Thursday, officials said.

Lt Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra inaugurated the festival at historic Polo Ground, Leh in the presence of Chairman and Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC Leh, Tashi Gyalson, the official said.

The festival includes a plethora of activities and events such as handloom and handicraft, cuisine stalls, archival photo exhibition, film and documentary screenings, traditional archery, polo matches, horse riding, musical concert and mask dance, the officials said.

They said a cultural parade involving diverse and rich cultures and traditions from different parts of Ladakh commenced from Karzoo and traversing the traditionally and historically symbolic places culminated at Polo Ground.

Enthralling cultural and musical performances by different cultural troupes and a spectacular paragliding show was part of the inaugural ceremony, the officials said.

Expressing delight at the wonderful performances by different cultural troupes, Mishra said the unique flora, fauna, geographical features, and rich cultural heritage make Ladakh a famous tourist destination.

He troupes of boys and girls from Ladakh will be sent to different states and Union Territories to mark the observance of UT Ladakh foundation day on October 31.

“The troupes will simultaneously act as a reachout programme promoting Ladakh for tourism within the country,” he said.

Gyalson highlighted the objective of organising the Ladakh festival as a medium of providing a single platform to showcase the rich cultural diversity of Ladakh in terms of its attire, cuisine, dances, craft, literature and sports to the tourists who visit on a time constraint and cannot experience the whole of Ladakh.

He stressed the need for a proactive and aggressive campaign by the tourism department and all involved stakeholders promoting the Ladakh festival to gather tourists and spectators in large numbers.

He shared the vision of making the month of September a month of festivals with the title The Carnival of Ladakh’ exclusively focusing on attracting tourists with a range of activities being observed in the month, including the Ladakh Marathon, Ladakh Festival and The Himalayan Film Festival. (PTI)

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