Two days Silk Route Festival 2013 concluded at Sand dune Leisure Park Sumoor, Nubra on 24th June. Rigzin Spalbar, Chief Executive Councillor (CEC),LAHDC was Chief Guest and other guest of Honours included Dr.Sonam Wangchuk, EC, Health, LAHDC Leh, Tsetan Namgyal, MLA Nubra, Gyurmet Dorjey, EC, Tourism, LAHDC Leh and P.Namgyal Former Union Minister.Recognizing the potential of Sumoor (the model village of Nubra) village in playing central role in economic development through cultural tourism, the villagers started an annual village festival two years back. To make the festival more beneficial the villagers requested Dr Sonam Wangchok, founder/secretary Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) for collaboration and guidance. In a meeting held in Sumoor on 1st June 2013, it was agreed that this year the festival will be organized by Samstan Otsal Tsogspa in collaboration with Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) to complement the newly discovered Sand Dune and Camel Safari in Sumoor. Accepting the proposal of Dr Sonam Wangchok the villagers agreed to name the festival as “Silk Route Festival”.The CEC congratulated the Samstan Otzer Tsogspa and Himalayan Culture Heritage Foundation to start the festival with a vision to promote the cultural heritage in the area and expressed hope that they will also work to strengthen the identity of Ladakh through its cultural preservation. CEC said that this festival should be promoted to attract more tourists to Nubra valley which in turn will result in the economic development of the region. He also suggested the Samstan Otzer Tsogspa to prepare a policy project for necessary financial assistance from centre as well as state govt. to execute developmental works in the area as per the need of the people.Gyurmet Dorjey said that the main reason behind the growing tourist in Ladakh is its rich cultural heritages and urged upon the people to promote the rich cultural heritage. He assured that LAHDC would extend financial help for conservation and promotion of cultural values and is also taking necessary measure for protection of bacterian camel in Nubra through Animal Husbandry Department.
The two-day-long extravaganza was in keeping with the essence of the Ladakhi festival; marked by feasts, dances, games and music, all in full measure while taking measures not to disturb the ecological sensitivity of the region.
The Silk Route Festival offered a unique tourism product through provision of the Ladakhi village cultural and traditional lifestyle in aspects of accommodation and hospitality, entertainment, arts and crafts.
Handicraft items made by hands by locals were displayed, which included gift & souvenir articles, office-ware, furniture and furnishings, accessories, decorative items, tableware, house ware and traditional dresses.
The villagers also utilised the occasion to promote traditional food by putting up stalls to sensitize visitors relating to indigenous local foods. The stalls were designed to emulate a typical village household where the visitors could sit on the floor and enjoy the food items in a traditional way.
Traditional dances, folk songs and folk music added to the aura. The dances were performed in groups. The beauty of the dances is raised by the colourful costumes, gold, silver, brass and precious stone ornaments etc.
To spread awareness particularly among the younger generation and to review the centuries old famous sports of Ladakh, the traditional Archery was also organised.
The MLA, Nubra Tsetan Namgyal while speaking on the occasion expressed thanks to CEC and ECs and other guests for participating in the festival and said that through this festival they intend to publicize the Sumoor sand dune as a tourist destination. Councilor Tigar Rigzin Wangdus also spoke on the occasion.