Silk Route Festival – 2016

Samstan Otsal Tsogspa is a village association registered under registration of Societies Act VI of 1998 (1941 A.D.), under 2223–S of 1995 to work for the community development projects including education, cultural preservation, health, welfare, and skill building services to people in the local community surrounding of Sumoor, Nubra.

Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) is a community-based, non-government organization, devoted to preserve and promote Himalayan indigenous, natural and historic heritage by working directly with the different mountain communities and strengthening and supporting community based institutions. HCHF was registered under registration of Societies Act VI of 1998 (1941 A.D.), under 5851–S of 2010. In last three years HCHF has made concerted efforts in documenting the intangible heritage of Ladakh, including folklores, traditional songs, music, dances and folk stories. HCHF also works extensively to revive dying monastic art, crafts, rituals and village handicrafts in the Himalayas. The foundation lays great stress on trainings and workshops that ensures more practical and beneficial outcomes both in terms of learning and preserving the rich cultural heritage of Himalayas.

NUBRA VALLEY  is located north of Leh and can be reached by road across Khardongla (18380 ft) – the world’s highest motorable road. The average altitude of the Nubra valley is 10,000ft above sea level. It is located between the Karakoram Mountains in the North and the Ladakh Mountains in the south. The valley is known for rich cultural heritage, lush villages, silvery sand dunes, lofty and majestic mountains and river basin greened with seabuckthorn bushes with its bright berries. Besides the two largest monasteries, Deskit and Samstanling, the valley is dotted with many other historical and religious monuments.

SILK ROUTE FESTIVAL : 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 and subsequently realized that this festival needs to be developed and promoted with experts’ supervision and direction to make it more meaningful, momentous and beneficial. In 2013, the villagers requested Dr Sonam Wangchok, the founder/secretary of Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) for collaboration and guidance.
In a meeting held in Sumoor on 1st June 2013, it was agreed that the festival will be organized by Samstan Otsal Tsogspa in collaboration with Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) every year to complement the newly discovered Sand Dune and Camel Safari in Sumoor which is becoming an attraction for local and international visitors. Accepting the proposal of Dr Sonam Wangchok the villagers agreed to name the festival “Silk Route Festival”.
Silk Route, the greatest route in the history of mankind linked Ladakh with Turkestan, Central Asia, bordering China across the Karakoram pass in Chinese Turkestan (Xinjiang). The main trading route between India, China and Central Asia (Silk Route) passed through Nubra valley and the impacts of linkages with outside regions are still evident in many ways. The seabuckthorn groves that grow naturally along the river side are the breeding ground for Bactrian camels. These Bactrian camels were brought to the Nubra valley by the Hor-Turkish Muslims during the time of the Silk Route trade. The Silk Route was a route not only for buying and selling goods, but just as importantly, for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, technologies, religions, cultures and art. In today’s globalizing world, understanding the Silk Route can help us to understand our own histories, cultures, artistic and religious heritages and how they coexisted and mingled with others in the pre-modern age. Silk Route Festival celebrates the memory of those days and aspires for reopening this historical route to Central Asia.

  • The festival aims at influencing the present and future generations as well visitors from outside to relate to the village culture in a positive light. As such, the Silk Route Festival will offer a unique tourism product through provision of the Ladakhi village cultural and traditional lifestyle in aspects of accommodation and hospitality, entertainment, arts and crafts and activities that will interest both national and international tourists. The accommodation and hospitality section of the Silk Route Festival mainly consists of different types of traditional food stalls, cultural programme, handicrafts and traditional sport such as archery to mention few.
    HCHF and Samstan Odsal Tsogspa aim to stage the event which provides the participants with an authentic experience of Ladakh’s indigenous culture. The two-day-long extravaganza is in keeping with the essence of the Ladakhi festival; marked by feasts, dances, traditional sports and music, all in full measure while taking measures not to disturb the ecological sensitivity of the region. The Silk Route Festival focuses its agenda on the following objectives:

Handicraft Stalls
Food stalls
Cultural Programme
Traditional Sports
Camel Safari
Line up

Ladakh’s famous folk singers and new voices from the valley at Silk Route Festival

Get involved –
• become a volunteer
• make a donation
• get your company involved
• tell people about the festival
• It all makes a difference in terms of preserving and promoting Ladakh’s rich cultural heritage through the festival. No gift is too small and all gifts are greatly appreciated.

Sponsorship/Support  : It is an opportunity to individuals, companies and organizations to advertise their activities/business through the “Silk Route Festival”. It can be done by sponsoring prizes for the “The man/women of silk Route” (best sport person), “The voice of the Silk Route” (best singer) and winner of traditional dance group/individual, best exhibition of handicrafts, the best traditional food stalls and other events. The Sponsor’s name and logo will appear on all printed materials and their sponsorship will be appreciated through media. For more information, please contact us on e-mail: or

There are several beautiful and peaceful resorts, hotels and family guest houses with own organic vegetable gardens and fruit orchids in Sumoor, Nubra.

Legacy Ladakh Travel
Web: /
Mobile: 9622992881, 9419178826

Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF)
P.O. Box 105, Leh Ladakh 194101, J&K, INDIA
(M) +94-9419218013

About Author: admin.duo