Visit The Ladakh Polo Festival 2018 In Chushot For An Offbeat Travel Experience

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If Ladakh is your bucket list travel destination, pre-plan the upcoming summers. This destination is not just an adventure hub but also a cultural centre point that gives travellers fantastic insights into the lives of the locals who live in these far flung regions.

To bring you closer to the local culture, every year in the month of July, Ladakh Polo festival is held in Shagaran, Chushot Gongma 18 km away from Leh. The event will be organised for third year in a row by The Indus Chushot Polo Club in July 2018. Be a part of the Ladakh Polo Festival during your visit to Ladakh this summer and experience the game of Polo as played by the locals along with other culturally significant events.

Image Credits: Ladakh Polo Festival

Photo of Leh by Disha Kapkoti

What is Ladakh Polo Festival?

Ladakhi Polo is a slightly fierce version of the game than the one played internationally. The game was first introduced in Ladakh by the Balti princess and mother of the Ladakhi king Singge Namgyal who hailed from Baltistan where the game was popular. Ladakhi Polo games are also accompanied by the loud cheers of the local musical instruments by the crowd.

The Ladakhi Polo Festival is an attempt to revive this game in the region and introduce the travellers to the rich heritage of the Ladakhi people through this engaging sport. During this festival visitors can also watch games of archery everyday, witness traditional music and dance and get taste of the Ladakhi delicacies.

Photo of Visit The Ladakh Polo Festival 2018 In Chushot For An Offbeat Travel Experience by Disha Kapkoti

When is the festival celebrated?

Ladakh Polo Festival is celebrated from 11th to 17th July every year.

Where is the venue for the festival?

The events for the festival are held in the serene village of Chushot located 18km from the city of Leh. This little hamlet is surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks in every direction. With gurgling Indus on one side at Choglamsar and barren desert fields, called Shagaral in Ladakhi, on the other, it makes a perfect setting for the game of Ladakhi polo and archery.

To plan your visit to this festival, you can find ample accommodation facilities in Leh.

Why you should go for it?

Ladakh Polo Festival is an initiative by the The Indus Chushot Polo Club to support the local traditions and introduce the youth of this region's sport traditions. The festival is not only a spectacle for the Polo enthusiasts but is a significant event where the culture of the region is celebrated during week-long festivities.

Locals in their traditional costumes give spectacular performances for the visitors who arrive to Chushot for this festival. The festival is also chance for Ladakhi people to showcase carpets, knitted and embroidered handicrafts. Various women self-help groups from Chushot and Stok region exhibit products made out of local produce like jam, jelly and Seabuckthorn or Leh berry juice. Apart from this, every year a popular local drama called Api–Apo (grandmother-grandfather) is performed leaving visitors mesmerised. 

To attend the festivities you can travel to Chushot from Leh via Thiksey and indulge in an inspiring day tour around the region. Some must visit places are Thiksey, Matho monastery and Stok village. You can also reach the village from Spituk side and witness the picturesque views of the region on the way to the venue. All these festivities bring life to this small village of Chushot and this event is an attempt by the locals to make this village a thriving tourist destination.

Photo of Visit The Ladakh Polo Festival 2018 In Chushot For An Offbeat Travel Experience by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Visit The Ladakh Polo Festival 2018 In Chushot For An Offbeat Travel Experience by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Visit The Ladakh Polo Festival 2018 In Chushot For An Offbeat Travel Experience by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Visit The Ladakh Polo Festival 2018 In Chushot For An Offbeat Travel Experience by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Visit The Ladakh Polo Festival 2018 In Chushot For An Offbeat Travel Experience by Disha Kapkoti

What about tickets?

There is free entry for all visitors on all days of the festival starting from 11th July.

Make your Ladakh visit special this summer and visit this enthralling festival week-long event. If you wish to know more about the festival, visit Ladakh Polo Festival website or send your queries on facebook.

All images have been sourced from Ladakh Polo Festival facebook page.

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