Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation

News & Updates

6th Saichen Folk Festival held in Nubra, Ladakh

June 5, 2022, on Sunday, the historical Stapolo Ground in Chamshen Nubra played host to the 6th Saichen Folk Festival, which Chamshen Chamskyong Tsogspa and the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) jointly organized. Following the corona pandemic, it was the first significant event to be hosted in Nubra Valley. The event’s chief guest, Deputy CEC Shri Tsering Angchuk, commended the organisers for planning the gathering with the intention of preserving and promoting Ladakh’s cultural legacy. According to him, advertising for this festival should focus on both bringing tourists to the Nubra Valley and teaching the local populace about the value of culture and heritage. Additionally, he announced the upcoming Traditional Archery CEC Cup to be held soon.

“The festival is being organized to make the people aware about the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh, especially Nubra and to celebrate the historical silk route trade as Nubra used to be one of the important centres and halting places of traders during silk route trade,” Dr. Sonam Wangchok, founder of HCHF, said while outlining the festival’s goals and objectives. According to him, the event encourages Ladakhi people, particularly young people, to be interested in and value their cultural legacy.

Tegar-Sumoor councilor, Rigzin Lhundup expressed appreciation to the organizers and pledged to continue supporting them wholeheartedly. Shri Tsering Dorjey, President of the Traditional Archery Society of Ladakh, attended the event as a guest of honour.

The festival’s main attractions included cultural programmes, an archery competition, traditional food stands in willow wattle shelters (tsele), and a lottery drawing. To raise awareness, especially among the younger generation, and to bring back the centuries-old Ladakh sport of archery, separate competitions for traditional and contemporary bows and arrows were held. The HCHF provided financial support for traditional archery. The Taksha Archery team won the traditional archery competition, and the Wari-La team won the contemporary archery competition.

Cultural groups from Chamshen, Udmaru, Dashugs Ladakh, and schoolchildren performed vibrant folk dances and music.

World Heritage Day Celebrated in Leh

Leh, April 18: World Heritage Day was celebrated at Arahat Community Hall, Spituk, Leh today. The day was celebrated under the aegis of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav organised by the Department of Archives, Archeology and Museum in collaboration with the Himalayan Culture Heritage Foundation (HCHF) and the village community of Spituk.
Executive Councillor for Art and Culture, Stanzin Chosphel was the chief guest and Councillor, Phyang constituency, Tundup Nurbu was the guest of honour. They were accompanied by BDC Chairperson Leh, Dr Skalzang Dorjey; President, Ladakh Culture Forum, Ven Lobzang Nyantak; Founder Secretary, Himalayan Culture and Heritage Foundation, Leh, Dr Sonam Wangchuk; concerned officials, representative from Spituk Monastery and nambardar of Spituk Village.
Executive Councillor, Art and Culture, Stanzin Chosphel lauded the efforts of the organising committee for organising the programme. He highlighted the rich cultural Heritage as the true identity of Ladakh. He said that one of the first priorities is the preservation of Culture Heritage and the need to create awareness among the younger generation about cultural preservation.
Councillor Phyang, Tundup Nurbu emphasised the practice of cultural values of Ladakh to preserve the cultural heritage of Ladakh. He also reminded the selfless contribution of Bakula Rinpoche in preserving the rich culture of Ladakh. He extended his gratitude to EC Stanzin Chosphel for his immense contribution in preserving the cultural heritage of Ladakh.
BDC Chairman, Dr Skalzang Dorjey extended his gratitude to the organisers of the World Heritage Day programme. He stressed on the cooperation among the people and stakeholders for preserving the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh.
Registering Officer, Antiquities, Ladakh, Khadim Hussain gave a detailed presentation on the initiative taken by the Department for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Ladakh. He also spoke on the need to organise an awareness programme for preventing any form of damage to petroglyphs, important heritage sites and monuments of Ladakh.
Ven Lobzang Nyantak spoke on the need for the conservation of Culture Heritage and the importance of the Bhoti language in the conservation of cultural heritage of Ladakh. He lauded the efforts of EC Stanzin Chosphel, Dr Sonam Wangchuk and Noor Jahan in conserving the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh.
Dr Sonam Wangchuk spoke on the different forms of cultural heritage and the effect of climate change on the ancient monuments in Ladakh. He emphasised the need of creating awareness among the younger generation about the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh and its preservation.
Co-founder, Shesrig Ladakh, Noor Jahan spoke on different art conservation practices and Heritage conservation initiatives in Ladakh.
The celebration included folk songs by Dorjey Stakmo and traditional dance by villagers of Spituk Village.

October 13, 2021

A day-long seminar on theme ‘Revisiting Ladakh History’ was organized by the History department, University of Ladakh in collaboration with Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation at Ladakh University, Taru Thang.

Speaking on the inaugural function, the Vice Chancellor Prof. S.K. Mehta highlighted that Ladakh is a land of rich heritage and history and there is a great scope for further research. He said the University of Ladakh will discuss with Dr. Sonam Wangchok on further research and documentation of cultural heritage in Ladakh.

Founder/secretary, HCHF Dr Sonam Wangchok while introducing the importance of heritage and history, explained that how heritage and history run in parallels. He mentioned that heritage sites are an important source of information that can help to understand the past history and are much useful in historic research.

The Deputy Director University of Ladakh, Smt. Konchok Angmo appreciated Dept. of History, University of Ladakh and HCHF for organizing the very important seminar that benefited the professors and students of the University immensely.

Thereafter, Prof. Tashi Dawa, Dr. Stanzin Mingyur, Dr. Rigzin Chodon and Nawang Sherab presented their papers on different aspect of the history of Ladakh. The various presentations helped the audience understand how Ladakh shaped up through various centuries up till the Independence. Also, insights in regards to rock arts and tribal setup were gained.

The seminar was followed by a field visit to a near by rock art sites where Dr Sonam Wangchok shared his insights with the students and faculty.

October 10,2021

Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation in collaboration with the village community of Tongsted, Nubra has restored an ancient Kagan Chorten in the village. On completion the monks from the Yarma Gonbo Gonpa performed the consecration ritual ceremony yesterday on 7th October, 2021.

Speaking on the occasion, Founder/Secretary HCHF, Sonam Wangchok has urged people of Nubra to maintain the cultural heritage for the coming generations. He congratulated the people of Saichen belt for opening their area for tourism but at the same time he urged people to think seriously about maintaining one’s own culture, heritage and the sanctity of the sacred Yarma valley.

Sarpanch Yarma, member Tongsted and former sarpanch also spoke on the occasion and express their gratitude to HCHF and the Chorten expert Tsewang Phuntsok and Tsetan Mutup.

Srapanch Yarma, Shri Jigmed Geldan has requested Dr. Sonam Wangchok to help and support in making a documentary film about Yarma valley to make the tourists aware about the sacred valley, including the sacred mountains, Yarma Gonpa, culture, heritage and DOs and DON’Ts etc. before they arrive in the valley.

October 2, 2021

The Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) has successfully completed the conservation of valuable ancient wall paintings in the Bodhkharbu Gonpa in Kargil District of Ladakh. The conservation project was initiated by HCHF in collaboration with Sangsngag Chosling Monastery by involving expert painting conservators from Art Conservation Solutions and local artist.


April 18, 2021

Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) and the village community of Tukla Village observed World Heritage Day with the restoration of an ancient stupa. Following the Deconsecration Ceremony, Dr Sonam Wangchok (Founder/Secretary HCHF) explained the significance of observing the World Heritage Day. He also threw light on the theme of World Heritage Day 2021 i.e. Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures. He stressed upon the importance of Heritage education and conducting awareness programmes to educate the people, especially the youth for different values of culture and heritage.


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