Ladakh is going to be bathed in shades of pink this season, and the Apricot Blossom Festival will make sure you do not miss out on the magical sight.
Enough about cherry blossoms in Japan. Closer home, Ladakh has something equally enchanting to offer this time of the year. Arrive at the Little Tibet of India this April, and you will find the region awash with soft pink hue — thanks to the countless apricot blossoms that put on a show here every year.
Ladakh Tourism is organising the Apricot Blossom Festival this time, inviting guests to come and experience the mesmerising seasonal spectacle. The festival runs from April 13-22 and promises an array of displays, cultural programmes, and exhibitions featuring local handicrafts in Leh and Kargil. You can even get your hands on local products like jams, juices, and syrups, freshly made from apricots, all while enjoying the visual treat. The theme for this year’s festival is Chuli Mentok 2022 (apricot is known as chuli locally).
In Leh, you can enjoy the festival in Domkhar Dho, Achinathang, Skuru, and Tertsey. In Kargil, the festival will be hosted in Garkhone, Sanjak, and Karkichu. Popular as the sweetest variety of apricots in the world, raktsey karpo is unique to the Union Territory of Ladakh. It is believed that chuli was introduced to the arid region by Chinese traders when it was a popular Silk Route destination a century ago. Today, apricot has turned into an indispensable part of Ladakh’s culture, cuisine, heritage, and economy.
Almost every household has apricot trees in its lawn, and locals use the sweet fruit to make marmalades and staple desserts, especially during traditional festivals. If you are planning to witness this magical bloom in Ladakh this April, make sure to keep a negative RT-PCR handy, which should be older than 72 hours.