Apricot Blossom-Chuli Mendoq Festival, 2021 begins in Kargil

KARGIL: The first ever Apricot Blossom-Chuli Mendoq Festival organized by the Department of Tourism, UT Ladakh began in Kargil at Garkone village here on Tuesday.
Director Tourism Ladakh Kunzes Angmo, AD Tourism Kargil Aga Syed Taha, village community members, folk artists and good number of villagers were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism Kunzes Angmo said with the objective to popularize the apricot blossoming season of the twin districts of Kargil and Leh on the national and international tourist map besides to attract tourists during this time of the year, UT Administration Ladakh has organized this festival.
The Director expressed gratitude to the UT Administration Ladakh particularly the LG Ladakh and the Secretary Tourism Ladakh for having supported this initiative. She said that due to the closure of Zojila Pass tourists didn’t reach to the festival this year and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts on this festival could not bear fruits to the fullest.
Director Kunzes Angmo further said that the Chuli Mendoq Festival is an effort to bring the apricot villages of Ladakh on the tourist map, adding she expressed hope that with the help of media and social media this event will reach to the world which will in turn attract tourists here during the next season.
AD Tourism Kargil Aga Syed Toha said that the event is an attempt of the Tourism Department UT Ladakh to celebrate this festival every year with the aim to attract maximum tourists in the region. He said that in coming years, the tourist operators and other stakeholders also will be taken into confidence to extend the period of the tourist season.
The Apricot Blossom Festival is simultaneously being held in both Leh and Kargil district from 6th to 18th of April, 2021.
In Kargil the festival is scheduled to be held in Darchiks, Garkone, Sanjak, Hardass, and Karkichoo while in Leh the festival is scheduled in villages of Dha, Biama, Turtuk, and Tyakshi.
The festival will feature viewing of apricot blossoms, cultural programmes, plays/skits besides display of apricot and other apricot products.
Pertinently, the apricot flower bloom signifies the onset of summer after the long and harsh winter of Ladakh. During this period, settlements in the western belt of Ladakh are covered with a white sheet of flowers.
The Apricot, known as Chulli /Halmann in Ladakhi, was introduced to the arid region of Ladakh over a century ago by Chinese traders passing through the area via the Silk Route. Now, in the 21st century, the fruit has become an integral part of Ladakh’s culture, heritage and economy.
The uniquely tolerant and highly stable plant of apricot has embraced the sandy soil of the cold desert and made it one of the largest producers of apricot in India.