What comes to your mind when it comes to pashmina wool, intricate woodwork, clay and stone ware, and thangka paintings depicting Buddhist culture? Of course, these are tied to the Himalayan region, but Ladakh is the precise answer. And thanks to a permanent event, Ladakh came to the plain, for the Delhiites!
At Enchanting Ladakh 2021, there are a variety of handcrafted Ladakhi dishes. And one can even meet the artisans who make these beautiful artifacts. More than 70 stalls selling hand-woven and knitted clothes and rugs, metal crafts and other regional crafts, right in the heart of the capital. “This is my first time exhibiting at Dilli Haat,” says Stanzin Sangay, a Ladakhi craftsman who sells pure wool caps, shoes and clothes. She adds: “The response has been good so far. Hopefully this will help us overcome the downturns we witnessed during the peak of Covid-19. ”
Rinchen Tsering, another craftsman who has brought a plethora of wood carvings – from kitchen trays to dragon figurines (druk) and prayer wheels to carved tables (choktsey) – is also hoping to make good sales and meet new buyers. . “I have been sculpting for 21 years. Wood carving is a popular craft in Ladakh. People here are intrigued to see these works, ”Tsering explains, while Ghulam Mohd, a stone sculptor at the same stand, tries to attract visitors with a demonstration of his craftsmanship. He shares: “The stone I use needs to be transported from a place one kilometer away from where I live in Ladakh. We carry around 6-7 kg of stone on our backs, and then we make tea sets, stoves and containers from them in our workshop.
Organized by the Department of Industries and Trade of the Union Territory of Ladakh, the event also includes demonstrations of craftsmen making brass cookware. It is certainly an interesting experience for spectators, as is the exhibition of works by Tundup Dorjey – the only ceramist at the event – which includes terracotta jugs, bowls and decorative pieces.
In a quiet corner of the room, one can even observe thangka artist Jigmet Gyatso, immersed in the painting of a living and devotional work of art. “I’ve been practicing this art since I was a teenager,” Gyatso says, as visitors to the fair stop by his side. Some hand-painted masks and thangkas are on display at his stall for sale, and the artist tells us, “I develop thangkas of deities including Buddha, Tara, Mandala and Guru Padma Sambhava. I am eager to teach and impart this knowledge to my disciples at home.
Catch it live
What: Enchanteur Ladakh 2021
Or: Dilli Haat, INA
About Till: The 31st of December
Hourly: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Nearest metro station: Dilli Haat INA on the yellow and pink lines
Author’s tweets @siddhijainn