Annual Ladakh Festival concludes
with colourful closing ceremony
Leh, September 15 – The 15-day long annual Ladakh Festival concluded at Polo Ground here this afternoon with a scintillating closing ceremony at which the Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra, was the Chief Guest.
The First Lady, Mrs. Usha Vohra, Minister for Tourism, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora, Chairman and Chief Executive Councillor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh, Mr. Chhering Dorjay, Executive Councilors, Councillors, Principal Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Raj Kumar Goyal, Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Mr. A. K. Sahu, senior officers, prominent citizens, a large number of people and tourists, both domestic and foreign, witnessed the closing ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said that the tourism sector is more important for Jammu and Kashmir which has more to offer than many other tourist destinations. He expressed satisfaction that an increasing number of tourists have started making Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu as their destination. He said that while over seven million pilgrim tourists visited Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine last year, and the number of Shri Amarnathji Yatris was about four lakh this year, the number of tourists visiting Ladakh which has increased over the years, is still not very significant, adding that we have to take adequate measures for enhancing the logistical infrastructure to attract an even increasing number of tourists visiting this region.
The Governor said that Ladakh has thousands of years of traditions rooted in history, centuries old monasteries and other tourist attractions. He said that the world is changing fast and, today, tourists from all over the world are visiting Ladakh.
The Governor congratulated Mr. Jora, Mr. Dorjay, Deputy Commissioner, Leh and all those associated with the organization of the Ladakh Festival and wished them a great success in this effort in the future as well.
Mr. Jora, Tourism Minister, who presented a memento to the Governor on this occasion, spoke about the future roadmap for developing tourism infrastructure in Ladakh and said that Ladakh would also be promoted as a destination for spiritual tourism. He said that the Polo Ground, the main venue of the Ladakh Festival, will be developed and upgraded.
Mr. Jora said that Ladakh is bestowed with a unique ambience, high mountain passes, glaciers and lakes, adding that it is also a paradise for trekkers, river rafters and cultural tourists. He mentioned that the tourism infrastructure to be raised in Ladakh would be in conformity with its traditions and ambience. He also referred to the Ladakh Confluence, a Music Festival, and said that this would be institutionalized and made a regular feature from next year, as an added tourist attraction. He said that tourism has not only given fillip to the local economy but has also generated employment opportunities.
Mr. Jora thanked the Governor for accepting the request to be the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony.
Earlier, the Chairman and the Chief Executive Councillor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Mr. Chhering Dorjay in his welcome address threw light on the aims and objectives of organizing the Ladakh Festival. He said that this festival was started, with a view to optimally showcase the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh and promote tourism activities in the area. He said that Sindhu Darshan Festival is organized at the start of the tourist season in June and the Ladakh Festival in September to prolong the tourist season.
The artists, attired in traditional and colourful costumes, presented a captivating cultural bonanza, based on the folk songs and dances of Ladakh, mesmerized the jam-packed audience at the Polo Ground.
The Deputy Commissioner presented vote of thanks and thanked one and all for making this annual event a great success.