About the project - Very little is known or written in the main stream about the Brokpa tribe living in the remote villages of Darchiks and Garkone in the so called Aryan Valley of Ladakh. Said to have lived in isolation for centuries along the river Indus, legend has it that they are the direct descendants of the lost Army of Alexander the Great. However, their historical background has always been surrounded by myths and controversies. Their fair complexion, deep brown eyes and sharp features give them a very distinct and different identity compared to other tribes living in Ladakh. Even their traditional attire is distinct with colourful floral hear gear and heavily ornamented dresses worn by the women folk. There are many legends surrounding this tribe and how they ended up in this part of the world. This program is an exploratory journey to discover and document the village, its inhabitants, and their mythical culture. We will be documenting oral history and folklore, food and traditional outfits, language and religion, landscape and monuments, through various media such as conversations, filming, sketching, photography and so on. The outcome of this will result in a digital publication and a short film about the Brokpa tribe. The program will be led by a team of practitioners from the field of design, film making and research.
The cost of the program is Rs 29,999 and includes stay, meals (except those in transit), internal travel and workshop costs. Travel to and from Leh is additional, as are personal expenses of any kind.
Roots Ladakh is a 3 year young travel start-up based in Ladakh, India. They are a for-profit social enterprise, in the business of adventure and rural tourism and are pioneers in promoting the lesser known parts of Ladakh – Kargil and Zanskar. Their philosophy is to create 'shared value' between the business and the community it thrives in, and they believe that travel based initiatives are the best way to re-introduce Kargil and Zanskar and at the same time provide livelihood opportunities for the locals.
Our project will begin in Leh, Ladakh. From there we will head to Garkone in the beautiful and remote Aryan Valley situated about 4-5 hours away from Leh. Due to its close proximity with the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, it remained restricted for non-locals and travellers. But since the last few years, this beautiful valley has been opened for everyone and it offers access to an intriguing culture and hidden wisdom from the centuries.
How to get there -
The most convenient option is to fly into Leh.
Road access to Leh may or may not be open by end-May/ early June.
During the village stay, you will have plenty of time for interaction with the locals. We will spend the evenings around bonfires, chatting and exchanging stories. We will do a bit of sight-seeing, and stop at monasteries and local places during transit to and from the village. And we have an entire day in Leh that has been kept free, for your leisure.