Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation

Major Activities

Silk Route Initiative Ladakh

In 2018, HCHF took up the task of illuminating a much talked about yet equally neglected part of our history, the Silk Route. A program named “Silk Route Initiative Ladakh” was conceived to revive and strengthen the intangible heritage associated with the famous Silk Route and its legacy. Under this programme, HCHF has also been supporting Mamani Festival in Kargil, Saichen Folk Festival in Nubra and Heritage Festival in Nubra.

Training workshops, conservation and restoration of monuments in Ladakh

Ladakh is dotted with various heritage sites like ancient temples, wall paintings, wooden carvings, ancient paintings, manuscripts, metal images, textiles, paper drawings, block prints and so on. Monument conservation especially the Buddhist stupas and wall paintings are some of the core activities that HCHF started and has gained momentum over the years.

My Culture, My Heritage

Under this project, the youth get a chance to reflect upon and get acquainted with their socio-cultural tangible and intangible histories. They also contribute through write-ups, their views and concerns about their culture and heritage. Their articles are published in the heritage magazine, “Heritage Himalaya”.

Protection, development and education of traditional Tibetan medicine plants in the Himalayas

HCHF has identified a small village called Rongdo in Nubra valley to cultivate medicinal plants under the direction and expertise of Amchi Lobsang Tsultrim. The villagers are encouraged and financially supported to cultivate different medicinal plants in their home gardens and fields. The collected medicinal plants are given, free of cost, to Amchis (traditional doctors) and Mentse Khang in Dharamsala.

Rock Art Unit (RAU)

Rock Art Unit (RAU) was established under the aegis of HCHF to bring focused attention to the Research, Conservation and Documentation of Rock Arts in Ladakh. The Convenor of the RAU, Mr Tashi Ldawa Thsangspa is the local pioneer of Rock Art research, and he is assisted by the Co-Convenor, Mr Viraf Mehta, a Delhi-based social anthropologist who has been documenting the Rock Arts of Ladakh since 2009. Ladakh Rock Art Resource Centre, dedicated to research & preservation of Rock Arts in Ladakh and other Himalayan Region was established in Leh in 2021.  It has the rarest collection of books on Ladakh, Rock Arts and other regions. Interactive Sessions for researchers, scholars & students are also hosted.

Heritage Himalaya Magazine

Ladakh’s only Heritage Magazine, highlighting the social & cultural spheres of Ladakh & other Himalayan regions with an international reach. Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Magazine disseminates information and knowledge pertaining to the tangible and intangible heritage of the Himalayan region. It is being published biannually since 2016.

Conservation And Restoration

For various reasons, most of the heritage sites in the villages built by the ancestors are deteriorating and need preservation. Some of them may still be in good condition, but a good number of them have well past the stage of recovery and rehabilitation. The Foundation carries out several conservation projects and restored some very important heritage sites in Ladakh. The ‘conservation and restoration project’ is an initiative by the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation to restore and preserve the Heritage Assets of Ladakh and other regions of the Himalayas. HCHF has Restored 30+ stupas across various villages in Ladakh and successfully completed 4 major Ancient Wall Painting Conservation Projects in Sumda Chun Stupa (Leh), Takkhung Khawoche (Cave Temple, Leh), Chomophu Temple (Nubra) and Bodh Kharbu Monastary (Kargil).


HCHF has been collaborating with different mountain communities as well as national and international organizations for restoring and conserving heritage sites in Ladakh. HCHF organizes workshops, trainings, awareness campaigns and seminars in collaboration with universities, colleges and schools.

Research and Documentation

HCHF is making concerted efforts in documenting the intangible heritage of Ladakh and other regions of the Himalayas, including history, folklores, folk songs, music, dances, folk stories and traditional skills and knowledge.  HCHF also works extensively to document and revive dying monastic art, crafts, rituals and village handicrafts. HCHF supports and encourage local writers to publish their research works.

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