Srinagar Leh Highway Status 2016

Srinagar Leh Highway Status 2016 may be saying closed as of now BUT this year owing to less snow in all over Himalayas, the 434 KM long Srinagar – Leh Highway is expected to open by end of March this year if weather holds up in coming days. There is only about 8-10 feet of snow between Baltal to Zojila this year and 2-3 feet between Sonamarg to Baltal …

So, all the adventure lovers out there preparing for the trip to Leh – Ladakh this year, gear up for a longer season of adventure in Ladakh as the Srinagar – Leh Highway is set to let you cruise it through by end of March or first week of April… Please keep in mind that even when the highway gets open it needs at least couple of weeks to settle or get stabilized from initial snow sliding that happens due to quick melting of snow. So, do not rush into the highway as soon as the road is thrown open, wait for couple of weeks to let it stabilize 😉

As per the past years, I will be starting this sticky post for status of the 434 KM long Srinagar Leh Highway Status 2016 which so many adventure lovers await every year. However, instead of updating the main article here at DoW Blog, I will keep the updated progress in the DoW Community thread for the same for better tracking of updates. A forum topic always helps in better updates tracking as well as collation of such updates in time organized manner. Hence, for all updates on Srinagar – Leh Highway after this initial post please stay tuned to the topic in DoW Community: Srinagar – Leh Highway Status 2016 | DoW Community Thread

Srinagar Leh Highway Status 2016
Srinagar Leh Highway Status 2016

Once the Srinagar – Leh road opens, I may not be that active in frequently updating the status because these roads close and open on frequent basis. It is barely impossible for a single tiny soul like me to update this information on daily basis once the road gets open, so please request you to excuse me on that front and accept my apologies :)… However, if there is some major blockade of 3 – 4 days, I will try to surely update such information about Srinagar – Leh highway status. That is another reason to keep updated to DoW Community Thread for the same.

I hope as per the last year, this year as well this article thread will be useful in planning your journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway and further to Leh – Ladakh.

Again, for all latest updates on Srinagar – Leh Highway Status 2016 after this initial post on DoW Blog, please stay tuned to the topic in DoW Community: Srinagar – Leh Highway Status 2016 | DoW Community Thread

Current Srinagar Leh Highway Status 2016 = OPEN | Updated: 30th Apr, 2016
  • Srinagar to Sonamarg is Open
  • Sonamarg to Zojila Pass to Kargil is Open
  • Kargil to Leh is Open
Timings of Zojila Pass in 2016: 30th April 2016
  • Drass to Sonamarg (light vehicles): up to 1 PM
  • Drass to Sonamarg (light vehicles): after 1 PM
Srinagar Leh Highway | Important Articles
Srinagar – Leh Highway Status = OPENED | Update Date: 30th April, 2016

Srinagar – Leh Highway is opened for Light vehicles now. The timings of movement for traffic are as, Drass to Sonamarg = up to 1 PM, Soamarg to Drass after 1 PM

Srinagar – Leh Highway Status = CLOSED | Update Date: 1st March, 2016

Snow clearance is full swing on Srinagar – Leh Highwayowing to less snow this year and is expected to open the highway by April starting this year.

Srinagar, March 1 2016: The strategic 434 km long Srinagar-Leh Highway, the only road linking the Ladakh region with rest of Jammu and Kashmir is likely to open early this year.

The likely early opening of the road is mostly credited to less snowfall this year and the dry weather.

Beacon officials told Rising Kashmir that the snow clearance work on the highway was started on February 24 and is going on. The highway was closed in December last year following heavy snowfall. Border Roads Organization (BRO) officials said that the snow clearance operation from Gagengar to Gumri started on Wednesday, adding that the snow clearance operation will be completed by mid March and the road is expected to be thrown open by ending March.

Pertinently last year the road was officially opened on May 13.

Zojilla Pass on the highway which experiences heavy snowfall and remain closed for several months during winter is considered to be the most difficult and avalanche prone terrain. However this year due to the less snowfall during winters the road clearance operation in high swing it is likely to take less time to clear the as compared to previous years.

Reports said that nearly 8-10 ft of snow has accumulated along Zojila Pass while as 3-4 ft of snow along Sonamarg-Baltal road.

“The snow clearance work has been started and will be completed around mid march and the road is likely to be thrown open by ending March this year subject to good weather,” Chief Engineer Beacon, Brig A K Das told Rising Kashmir.

Braving the bone-chilling cold, BRO has pressed dozens of its workers and snow-cutters into service to clear the Zojilla Pass, Das said.

He said that the toughest work to clear snow remains the 30-km-long-stretch up to zero point of Zojilla from Sonamarg.

He said that if weather continues to support, the road is all set to open by March end this year.

Officials added that Project Beacon of Border Road Organization is responsible for clearing the road up to zero point near Zojilla from Sonamarg, while the Vijayak of BRO clears the road from the Kargil side.

External Source: Snow clearance operation on Sgr-Leh highway in full swing

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“Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas” – a month long Hemis festival 2016

Press Trust of India|Leh

Hemis Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery (gompa) of the Drukpa Lineage, located in Hemis village, Ladakh, India. Situated 45 km from Leh, the monastery was re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. This biggest monastery in Ladakh will celebrate one thousand years of Buddhist yogi Naropa’s visit with a month-long festival of dance, music and religious teachings in July this year.

An 11th century saint, Naropa was believed to have been born a prince into a royal family in Kashmir and the king and queen besides the kingdom’s subjects agreed it was not befitting for Naropa to dwell in the midst of worldly people and that he should be among practitioners of the Dharma.

Hence, he was sent off to be educated at the Nalanda University where he debated with Buddhist scholars and eventually became one of the gatekeepers at the institution.

Titled “Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas,” the festival, derives its name from the mass Hindu pilgrimage held every three years in Uttar Pradesh and on similar lines seeks to bring not only the different sects of Buddhism but also people from across the globe together both physically and spiritually.

“Kumbh mela is something that is holy and well known. But, many people in the Himalayas have no idea about it. The festival will be a very holy and spiritual experience. Lots of people will gather to see big ceremonies. Therefore, we call it the Himalayan Kumbh Mela,” says Thuksey Rinpoche, who is ranked second in the Drukpa lineage hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhism.

The festival is expected to be an extended rendition of the annual Hemis festival observed at the monastery that celebrates Guru Padmasambhava’s birth anniversary, with monks donning traditional silk costumes and brightly painted masks dance to the sounds of instruments like longhorns, cymbals and drums.

However, since he is believed to have been born in the Monkey year, which comes every tweleve years, of the Tibetan calendar as predicted by the Buddha Shakyamuni, a four-storey high silk embroidery (Thanka), portraying Guru Padmasambhava donning pearls and semi-precious stones is displayed along with an exhibition of Naropa’s ornaments, is held on the ocassion.

The devotional art piece was last exhibited in the year 2004.

“Normally every year there is celebration but since in 2016, it will be 1000 years of Naropa’s visit to Ladakh, besides the unfurling of the historic traditional silk thanka on July 14, 2016, it will also witness the largest assembly of Drukpa masters offering their teachings and sermons,” says First Chief Abbot of Hemis monastery, Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin, who is also a Buddhist scholar.

Sea buckthorn-A Goldmine of Ladakh

Ladakh region, whose economy is based on the tourism industry, has many other resources other than the tourism to offer in the global market. These resources either are underutilized to their existing potential or are left to waste. One of these resources is sea buckthorn fruit (well known by Leh berry brand) which was till recently not having an economic utility. It has a tremendous potential of Rs 500 billion market worldwide because of its magical features that is why it is also called magical fruit in the world.
This fruit is found at different places of the world on high altitude areas (cold desert areas) and China is the market leader in its production, processing and export. In China Sea buckthorn is cultivated on one million hectares of land and by the end of 2004 it was a multi billion agro-enterprise there. However in India this fruit is growing in Utranchal, Skimm, Urunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. In Ladakh it was grown earlier primarily for saving the soil erosion as it has a well-nit root network. But now it is found in abundance in Ladakh especially in Chushot, Shey and Nobra valley on a vast area of 1.3 lakh hectares of land in wild form with tremendous potential for its further cultivation. Due to its wild form in Ladkah it is more organic, which is highly demanded in international markets than the sea buckthorn fruit from China which is cultivated there by using pesticides.
There is a huge demand for this magical fruit from different markets in the world due to the presence of more than 100 nutrients, 8 vitamins, 24 minerals an 18 amino acids viz linolenic acid, vitamins E, A, Caretone, polyphenols, flavonoids, phytosterols, iron, copper, manganese, selenium and high quantity of antioxidants . This wonder fruit has energy giving properties and is extensively supplied to the defense persons on the high altitude areas. The most strange property of this fruit is that it does not freeze up to the minus 20 degree while as other juices in the world freeze on the minus degree. This is the only fruit in the world which has the highest quantity of antioxidants and these antioxidants have anti aging and anti cancer properties, that why its juice is being highly demanded in the international market especially in the developed countries. In the medicinal world its therapeutic, anti-carsenic, anti-aging antibacterial, anti-inflammatory pr0perties are marvelous, for the treatment of the hypoxia, stress, cancer etc. However in the cosmetic industry its oil has tremendous demand from all multi national companies for its use in fairness creams, moisturizers, anti-aging and anti-wrinkle creams. The most important usage of the sea buckthorn is for anti-radiations and anti-aging and Mir Space Expedition was the first spacecraft where cosmonauts used sea buckthorn to protect themselves from exposing their skin to high radiation in space.
This wild fruit was not harvested till recently in Ladakh because of the lack of knowledge of its market, lack of entrepreneurial ventures in its processing, lack of investment and lack of the Government interest in developing it in to big industry. It was D. K. Mittal an outsider entrepreneur who first initiated to exploit this treasure in Ladakh on large scale by establishing a 4.8 crore rupees initial investment in Ladakh Food Limited (LFL) in Leh in 2001 for pulping and processing of this fruit. The Mittal named the product as the Leh Berry and this magical sea buckthorn fruit of Ladakh started to be identified by the Leh Berry in the market. However LFL was shutdown shortly by the Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) because of his financial crime. With the result the local cooperatives started to emerge in its cultivation and pulping by establishing small units. But these cooperatives because of their low investment, inaccessibility to the huge capital, lack of the modern technology in its harvesting and processing and lack entrepreneurial attitude in its cultivation, harvesting and processing, this natural resource is not exploited fully in Ladakh as in 2006-07 only 81 MT and in 2004-05 only 117 MT were harvested and pulped, while as there is potential of 10,000 MT every year from its wild produce and its cultivation has not been yet been endeavored.
The practice of cultivation and processing of sea buckthorn (Leh Berry) is still conventional in Ladakh which leads in loss during harvesting and irreparable damage to the plants. There is also a very low value addition in its processing, with the result the major part of the profits goes to the outside entrepreneurs as it is being supplied out in pulped form. Till now it is only the juice which has become the focal point in its processing while as the sea buckthorn oil has more demand than the juice which is an unexplored area, requires a lot of intervention in the form of policy making in order to bring it in the mainstream economy of J&K. In this regard Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) in Collaboration with the Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) conducted recently a workshop at Leh on “Cultivation and Processing of Sea buckthorn Fruit” for a policy formulation so that this unique treasure will be fully exploited for the benefits of the farmers, agri-entrpreneurs and Ladak’s economy and for the generation of employment.
Therefore we need to think about this resource for exploring the possibilities of exploiting rather than letting it waste. This unique natural resource which is scarce in the world and has a tremendous market potential. Even we can monopolize international markets because of organic agri-produce and our policy makers shall take initiative in taping this gold mine of the State.

Proud moment for Ladakh: Two locals attend UN conference

December 6
Two persons from the Ladakh region, representing India at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21 or CMP 11) in Paris, have brought a proud moment for the remote region.
Jigmet Takpa, Chief Conservator of Forests, Ladakh, and Director, Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency, Leh, and Stanzin Dorjai Gia, Director, Himalaya Film House, who belongs to remote Gya village, 70 km east of Leh, are representing India at the conference.
Takpa was officially invited by the general secretary of COP 21 to attend the conference from November 30 to December 11 to showcase his works on climate change, mitigation and adaptation in the Himalayas. He is a member of the Indian delegation and made a presentation on “energy access” on December 1 at the conference.
At the UN conference, initiatives for mitigation and adaptation in response to climate change in the form of biodiversity conservation, rural livelihood improvement projects and renewable energy initiatives taken by Ladakh were appreciated.
Two movies by Stanzin Dorjai Gia —-“Jungwa” and “Lighting up Himalaya” —-showcasing climate change, mitigation and adaptation, would be screened at the UN conference. The movies were selected from among 500 entries around the world.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature will screen the movies to the audience at the UN conference on

December 8.
The movie —- “Lighting up Himalaya”—- on the Ladakh renewable energy initiative —- is screened every day at the Indian pavilion.
An official lunch was also organised at the Elysee Palace in honour of Jigmet Takpa, Stanzin Dorjai Gia and Christiane Mordelet for their work on December 2. Takpa and Stanzin took part in several discussions and debates on climate change, mitigation and adaptation during the UN conference.
According to the organising committee, the objective of the 2015 conference is to achieve, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a binding and universal agreement on climate from all nations.

Draft declarations:
As is usual before such major conferences, major NGOs and groups of governments have drafted and published a wide variety of declarations they intend to seek a consensus on, at the Paris conference itself. These include at least the following major efforts:

ICLEI at its World Congress, launched the new Transformative Actions Program (TAP) intended to progress local and subnational action ahead of COP21 to build on its 2005 COP11 (Montreal summit) commitments, Triple Bottom Line framework arising from that, and other local efforts.
European capital and large cities for climate action en route to COP 21 Declaration, adopted March 26, 2015 by “representatives of EU capitals and large cities of 28 EU Member States at the Mayors Meeting organized by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Ignazio Marino, Mayor of Rome, who argue that “urban areas exposed to climate change are also essential innovation testing zones”, which is the focus of the ICLEI mechanisms, metrics and 2005 declaration.
Private, corporate and private-public partnerships
At the World Summit of Regions for Climate (WSRC) in Paris 2014, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Founder of R20, invited a coalition of governments, businesses and investors to sign a draft “Paris Declaration” at World Climate Summit in Lima 2014, World Green Economy Summit 2015 in Dubai and COP21.
The Shift project by French business organizations.

Indigenous peoples efforts include:
Asian indigenous peoples declaration
IPACC acting for African indigenous peoples in particular but also worldwide.
A vast range of groups and peoples “seeking presence in post-2015” development, e.g. the Centre for Autonomy and Development of Indigenous People in Nicaragua
Many indigenous polities and sovereignties seeking recognition under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples who demanded recognition and change also in 2014 at the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima. In 2015 this will include those with specific grievances, e.g. the Wabanaki Confederacy in its opposition to hydraulic fracturing and Energy East, has announced it will send a diplomatic representative regarding events in 2013 in New Brunswick that highlighted the relative imbalance of power to resist fossil fuel corporations even on unceded lands:
Canada is the home to 75% of the worlds mining corporations, and they have tended to have relative impunity in the Canadian Courts – Winona LaDuke
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network seeking “powerful submissions by worldwide women” sharing “stories, struggles, solutions and action plans …women’s climate justice mobilization”
Countries of the Mediterranean Sea. Dam Bridge, Strait of Gibraltar, S.A. (PPEGSA). The first draft PresaPuente adapting to climate change is designed to protect the Mediterranean the imminent rising waters the polar thaw. More than 24 countries, over 500 million people, more than 15,000 islands and thousands of Km. Of coast which can be saved from flooding.
Solar alliance: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at the 2015 G-20 Summit that he, along with French President François Hollande, intends to propose creating an alliance of solar-rich countries similar to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Ahead of the climate summit, the two leaders sent written invitations to over 100 countries to join the coalition proposed to be called the International Agency for Solar Policy and Application (InSPA)
A vast range of other activities in preparation to influence the major decisions at the conference.