The winter season adds a certain ethereal quality to the stunning landscape of Ladakh. Tapping into this potential, the region’s government aims to draw tourists, generate employment for locals, and bolster snow activities by introducing a snow sculpture. Here’s everything you need to know. By Eshita Srinivas
Ladakh recently held the region’s first Ice and Snow-Sculpture Conclave, an extensive snow sculpture workshop, along the Zanskar river, which saw stunning creations like cafes, snow leopards, and saunas. All of them were made using traditional chisels, chainsaws, and locally-made cutting machines. On the heels of the event’s success, the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur announced, after a meeting with Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, that the region will further snow activities by launching an Ice and Snow Sculpture in the coming years.
The snow sculpture in Ladakh will generate job opportunities for locals
LG #Ladakh Sh R.K. Mathur called on. Union Ministry of Science & Technology will help set up latest Snow Sculpture #StartUp technology which would not only create job opportunities for locals but could also emerge as a huge attraction for winter tourists. pic.twitter.com/kKfWzQACLp
— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) February 14, 2022
Reflecting on how snow activities have gained considerable traction in regions that see frigid winters, Mathur sought the support of the Council of Scientific And Industrial Research (CSIR) for annual outdoor snow activities, Tribune India reports. Once launched, the Snow Sculpture Festival would follow in the footsteps of others like the Harbin International Ice Festival in China and would create startup and job opportunities for Ladakh locals.
A mix of traditional and modern spoon designs made by artist Tsewang Tamchos from #Chilling village on display during the Ladakh Ice & Snow Conclave 2022#Ladakh #discoveryourself@tourismgoi @MinOfCultureGoI @incredibleindia @sectourismutl @DIPR_Leh @DIPR_Kargil pic.twitter.com/08gejz04z1
— Ladakh Tourism (@utladakhtourism) February 16, 2022
Earlier, Mathur had remarked on the success of the event, “My theory all along has been that while summers are great here, I would like to say that winters are greater, much better. I see no logic in leaving Ladakh in winters. This is the time to earn here.” He further commended the Ladakh Administration for launching the commercial plantation of sea buckthorn, or Leh berry, an indigenous product of the cold desert, stating that the initiative will lead to an abundance of livelihood opportunities in the region.
Singh, meanwhile, stated that the local entrepreneurs will be provided meaningful employment by the way of farming, processing, and marketing of local products made with sea buckthorns like juices, jams, tea, vitamin C supplements, soaps, and more. To do this, the Department of Atomic Energy has been notified to set up facilities in Ladakh for Gamma Irradiation Technology, which will extend the shelf life of produce needed to make these products, Zee News reports. Further details regarding the sculpture and the festival are yet to be announced.
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