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Ladakh Book Festival

What does it mean to be a Ladakhi?:

A vibrant tapestry of books, ideas and culture

The Land of High Passes invites you to an invigorating celebration of literature at the Ladakh Book Festival 2023. A first of its kind, the festival will feature the best of Ladakhi literature and culture, with a special focus on indigenous writings. This five-day event boasts of a culturally-diverse and prolific line of exceptional speakers. A literary festival nestled within quiet mountains– this event will not only celebrate the wonder of books but also the glory of Ladakh.

Festival Essentials:

Dates: 12th to 16th July
Time: 10 AM to 6 PM
Venue: Multipurpose Indoor Stadium, near Secretariat, Leh
What to look out for:
  • Discussions on Ladakhi writings, folklores and culture by esteemed academics and authors.
  • Enriching talks focusing on geopolitical, environmental and local issues of the land
  • Children's activities like book readings, poster making and stimulating workshops
  • Engaging off-site events to expand the festival beyond the allotted location
  • Vibrant cultural performances and activities

Details of the sessions to catch at the Ladakh Book Festival!

Session 1: Meet the Author: Teen Sanyasi Aur Unki Maa by Chairman Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma

In this session, you will get to engage and interact with Chairman and Author Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma who will be in conversation with Shri Pankaj Chaturvedi. The session will delve into the fun world of this children’s books through storytelling, conversations and Q&As!

Chairman Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma and Shri Pankaj Chaturvedi

Session 2: Storytelling Workshop

Dive into the folk history of Ladakh through a rich, literary storytelling session. This session will focus on themes such as the region’s Tibetan-Buddhist influences through folktales. These folktales will aim to evoke a keen sense of community, togetherness, and solidarity between strangers. The session will elucidate the values of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ through the beauty of folklores.

Shivani Kanodia

Session 3: Finding the ‘Route to your Roots’: The essence of Indian history and knowledge through stories

The theme of this session is “Finding the Route to your Roots”. The session will be open to audiences of all ages. One gets to learn the importance of Indian heritage, culture and history through the grand mythological and historical stories. The essence of Indian knowledge systems, historicity and values will be illustrated to the young and the old through creative storytelling in this fun interactive session.

Komal Narwani

Session 4: Anecdotes of history

Dive into the history and culture of Ladakh through a rich, literary discussion. This session will focus on themes such as the region’s Tibetan-Buddhist influences, their royal history of Dogra and Namgyal dynasties, and the rich exchange of ideas and goods through the silk route, amongst other interesting facts and tidbits. Tune in to know more about the past of the land of awe-inspiring mountains.

Vishwas Patil

Session 5: Contemporary Environmental issues concerning higher Himalayas

Ladakh is currently facing immense environmental challenges in the form of water scarcity, displacement of indigenous tribes, and depletion of agricultural land. In the view of international climate change concerns, this issue becomes even more alarming. This session will touch upon these issues, address them and look at the emerging, essential literature on the topic. The session will further focus on how to tackle these concerns within the purview of writing and how literature can help with the way forward.

Niranjan Dev Bharadwaj in conversation with Shri Pankaj Chaturvedi

Session 6: Contemporary writings on Ladakh’s landscapes

Contemporary literature often finds itself reinterpreting the old and the forgotten. This session will have a panel of exceptional minds conferring with each other over contemporary writings and what it means for the land of Ladakh. The session will decode what kind of authorship, readership and writing patterns are emerging from this serene landscape and its future in the publishing world.

Jigmet Norbu, Tsering Chorol and Stanzin Khaskyabs


Cultural performance by Cultural and Traditional Society, Ladakh

Session 1: Playing with numbers: The Vedic Way!

In this session, children discover fascinating mathematical techniques hidden in the Vedas, the ancient scriptures! They will unleash the secret power of numbers with a distinguished writer Vivek Kumar who specialises in Vedic Mathematics. The session will also conduct an exciting quiz competition for children.

Vivek Kumar

Session 2: Tinkle: Story Creation Workshop

In this workshop, children will become storytellers themselves! In true tinkle style, children will get to expand the boundaries of their imagination and create fun stories with a little help from Komal Narwani, a storytelling aficionado.

Komal Narwani

Session 3: Interaction of PM-YUVA authors with a budding author of the region

In this session, PM YUVA authors will have a rich discussion with a budding writer from the region, author Tahir Ahmad Lone. Lone is an emerging literary critic of Kashmiri language and literature. Along with writing a book titled Rovzan e Tilsmat, his works have appeared in multiple literary journals. The session will delve into his new book on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, written in Kashmiri, will shed a new light on the political genius and create ripples in the landscape of Kashmiri literature.

Tahir Ahmad Lone and PM YUVA authors

Session 4: Exploring the Folklore of Ladakh through Theatre

This session will delve into the Folk traditions of Ladakh, the stories and the lores emerging from the land’s oral and written traditions. A lot of Ladakhi folklore is steeped in the spiritual traditions of Buddhism with elements of mythology and moral teachings. The session will highlight these cultural and traditional influences, through the voices of Ladakh- in the form of theatre. Panellists will discuss the theatre culture of Ladakh and folk influences on the artform.

Morup Namgyal and Mipham Otsal


Musical Performance by Ladakh Scouts

Session 1: Career and Learning in the field of Environment

Do you find yourself thinking about the environment and ecology a lot? If you want to be the future of an environmentally-conscious and sustainable India, join this session with activist and author Niranhan Bharadwaj. In this session, Mr. Bharadwaj talks about the career and scholarly opportunities in the field of environment, ecology and sustainability.

Niranjan Dev Bhardwaj

Session 2: Illustration Workshop

This fun workshop on illustrations invites you to showcase your artistic talents and learn from the best! Canato Jimo, the amazing graphic artist and illustrator, will teach children the art of doodling in a fun yet informative format. Tune into this workshop to draw your heart out and learn more about the illustrations we have come to adore!

Canato Jimo

Session 3: Quiz on Vedic Maths

In continuation to the fun learning experience of playing with numbers: the vedic way, writer and instructor Vivek Kumar will test your knowledge and learning through a quiz on Vedic mathematics. Join for a fun and spirited competition to test your abilities and put your knowledge to practice or just to have fun!

Vivek Kumar

Session 4: Digital Reading

In today's digital world, reading has also evolved and more and more children are reading books on phones and tablets. In this session, experts from the publishing and tech world come together to discuss how to enhance this experience for readers and how to make e-books more accessible.

NBT-India representatives, Acer and World Reader

Session 5: Book Release of "Sido Kanhu: The Santhal Hul, Bharat's First War of Independence"

In this book launch session, we unveil authors Tuhin Sinha and Clark Prasad’s new book “Sido Kanhu: The Santhal Hul, Bharat's First War of Independence". The book makes a case for the one of the biggest uprisings in eastern India against the British as the first war of independence. The book delves into the revolutionary efforts of Santhals and how their resistance led to events which subsequently culminated into the Great revolt of 1857 against the Raj. Check out this exclusive literary session at the Ladakh book festival!

Tuhin Sinha in conversation and Clark Prasad with Akshat Dev (PM YUVA Author)

Session 6: Orientation workshop for Anganwadi Workers

An illuminating and interactive session for preschool and Anganwadi teachers with Ms Padma Angmo, Commissioner/Secretary (Hr. Edu/Tech. Edu/SW/Information). This session will discuss the best practices in preschool education and the most effective ways to reach out to children while making learning fun.


Session 7: Influence of literature on Cinema: The Ladakh story

Literature and Cinema are known to go hand-in-hand as mediums to exchange thoughts and ideas. This session will be focusing on the intersection of films and literature. The panellists will discuss the power of writing, how literary influences play a role in cinema and how the two worlds work in tandem to revolutionise the way one looks at the world.

Phunsok Ladakhi, Stanzin Dorjai in conversation with Diskit


Faisal Ashoor and the Band

Session 1: Storytelling

An immersive and fun storytelling session to enliven those young minds! Be transported to an amazing world of fiction and let your imagination run wild. Storyteller Jaishree Sethi will use her incredible narrative and creative skills to tell stories and make this a memorable session for children.

Jaishree Sethi

Session 2: Introduction to Letter writing

An engaging exercise in brainstorming, writing and drafting letters. Children will get a chance to put on their thinking caps, and learn how to communicate their thoughts within conventions. The session will be a fun learning experience.


Session 3: Teaching and Learning in Indian Languages and role of CSTT

In this session, the panel will discuss the emerging importance of Indian languages and the steps being taken by the government to bring these vernaculars to the mainstream. They will delve into the role of CSTT (Commission for Scientific & Technical Terminology) in creating scientific terminology for a number of Indian languages like Bodo, Santhali, Dogri, Kashmiri etc. In light of NEP and other reforms, this session will be very informative and exciting.

Prof Girish Nath Jha, Dr. Dharmendra Kumar, Dr Bhimsen Behera in conversation with Smt. Chakpram Binodini Devi

Session 4: Stories from Behind the Camera: Media in the digital age

In this day and age, the media plays an extremely vital role in our lives. In this session, therefore, some of the most influential news personalities get together to discuss the changing nature of media in today's age, the challenges they face when reporting from remote locations across the country, and how the internet has helped bridge the divide.

Lallantop, Wion, Manish, PTI, TV9

Session 5: Buddhism: Origin and cultural influences

Buddhism is essential to the land of Ladakh– its history and its culture. The religion has seen its ups and down in the region, but it emerged strong in the twentieth century due to the efforts of Kushok Bakula Rinpoche. This session will focus on the deep-rooted history of Buddhism in Ladakh and its impact on Ladakhis. It will discuss the cultural symbols of Buddhism all over Ladakh like Stupas and Gompas, the everyday traditional practices and pertinent Buddhist influences who made it all possible.

Rev. Thupstan Paldan, Dr. Nawang Tsering and Khanpo Konchok Thupstan

Session 6: Kushok Bagula Rinpoche: A Saint and an Ambassador

This session will focus on a book discussion on Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, a prominent Buddhist monk and the ambassador of India to Mongolia. The session will focus on the ‘Architect of modern Ladakh’, his revolutionary efforts towards reviving Buddhism, and exceptional diplomacy. The enriching talk aims to bring to light the contributions of Ladakh and Ladakhis in the nation-building process of India.

Sonam Wangchuk Shakspo and Nawang Tsering Shakspo in conversation with moderator


Musical Band Performance by Dashugs

Session 1: Designing a graphic novel on Ladakhi folklore

This session will engage in a workshop focused on designing a graphic novel. Elements of storytelling, illustrations, structuring and form will be the focal point. Since the backdrop is the beautiful landscape of Ladakh, the theme is going to be the beautiful prose of Ladakhi folklore.

Jignesh Chavda

Session 2: Envelope Art: Fun with stamps!

In this fun session, Daakroom will take us into the fun world of creativity through an unusual artform. This session will focus on creating envelope art, with the use of beautiful and illustrious stamps and other decorations. This artsy session will engage in fun with arts and crafts!


Session 3: Unveiling tales from the Land of High passes

The Himalayas have been a rich source of inspiration for many writers, philosophers and thinkers. This session will explore the stories emerging from the cultural confluence created in Ladakh as a pivotal stop on the Silk route. This culturally-distinct category of literature unique to the land of the high passes will be the focus of the event. The panel will have proficient academics discussing texts on spices, tea, trade routes, travelogues and many more things.

Dr. Phuntsog Angmo and Dr. Rinchen Dolma

Session 4: Bringing Ladakhi culture to the world

This session will focus on a discussion of all things Ladakh. From Ladakhi cuisine with Tibetan influences to their unique festivals, from the passes like Khardung La to the peaks of Stok Kangri, their literature and their languages like Bhoti, Urdu and Tibetan. The session will highlight Ladakh through a rich discourse on its languages, cultures and landscapes– all through the lens of travel accounts, books, and other literature.

Lhundup Gyalpo and Prof. Jamyang Gyaltsan

Session 5: Ladakh: Inspiring the Literature, Arts and Cinema

In this session, we’ll talk about all things art! The session will discuss the cultural, literary and cinema of the land with the finest panellists. The session will rummage through all the works of arts and performances produced in Ladakh and how the scene has grown over the last few years. The enlightening session will also delve into the future of the arts with respect to Ladakh.

Padma Angmo, Monisha Ahmed and Supriya Suri

Session 6: The Legacy of Poetry and Ghazals in Ladakh: Poetry in Urdu, Shina, and Balti

‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’-- Poetry and Ghazals are sources of aesthetic and sonorous beauty. This session will focus on the song-making processes emerging from the land of Ladakh and the evolution of verse and music from the region. Since Ladakh is home to vernacular vibrance, we will focus on the different languages in which poetry and Ghazals are emerging and flourishing.

Mohd Shafi Saagar and Raza Amjad Budgami


Kargil, Rgyaglu and Balti ghazals

Contact Information:

Please address all communication to:

National Book Trust, India
Ministry of Education, Government of India,
Nehru Bhawan, 5 Institutional Area, Phase-II,
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070
Phone: 91-11-26707780/788