Umling-la, Ladakh, located at an astonishing altitude of 19,024 feet, achieved yet another incredible milestone by successfully hosting the world's highest international fashion show. This extraordinary event took place during the Vibrant Ladakh festival on September 30, 2023. The objective behind the Umling La fashion show was to promote the spirit of global unity, encapsulating the principle of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'- “one world, one family.” Additionally, the organizers aimed to showcase Ladakh's exceptional Pashmina, a renowned textile that has been honoured with the prestigious GI tag.
The Ladakh International Fashion Show was a remarkable event that showcased not just fashion but also the diverse cultures of the region. Models from 14 different countries gracefully walked the runway, representing global beauty and charm. This extravaganza came to life through a collaborative effort between the Union Territory Ladakh Administration, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) in Leh, and the Ladakh Art and Entertainment Alliance. The support offered by the Indian Army and the Border Roads Organisation added another layer of significance to this grand occasion. It celebrated not only fashion but also paid homage to the rich tapestry of cultural heritage that defines this beautiful region.
The fashion show took place to exhibit the vibrant diversity of Indian culture. It featured international models, including two from Ladakh, showcasing the region's significant GI-tagged Pashmina and promoting sustainable tourism. The models gracefully adorned costumes reflect the color palette for spring and summer 2024. These ensembles were crafted using authentic Pashmina produced in Ladakh's Changthang region. An official spokesperson emphasized that the show aimed to symbolize and promote India's rich cultural heritage with the concept of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.
The achievement of the world record was acknowledged by Tashi Gyalson, the Chairman of the LAHDC Leh. He expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the decision made by the Home Ministry, which allowed foreign tourists to stay in Hanle. This decision facilitated the models' overnight stay in Hanle as well.
He greatly praised the universal spirit of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,' which was exemplified by the participation of international models. This bond was further fortified during the foundation stone laying ceremony for Lord Buddha's statue at Umlingla, as the sands brought by these foreign models were seamlessly integrated. The Chairman and Chief Executive Councilor of LAHDC Leh, Tashi Gyalson also expressed deep gratitude for the exceptional support provided by the Indian Army and BRO, under the leadership of Brigadier Gaurav Karki and Colonel Ponung Doming.
During the G20 India event, a significant symbolic act occurred when the foundation stone for a statue of Lord Buddha at Umling La was laid. Represented by participants from various nations, and was incorporated into this remarkable initiative. These innovative endeavours are expected to greatly contribute to the development and promotion of Border Tourism. Tashi Namgyal Yakzee, the Executive Councillor, expressed admiration for the central government's decision to open Martsemik and Sko Valley for tourism and trekking. His remarks alluded to the positive impact these measures would have on regional growth and development.
CEC Tashi Gyalson also voiced his admiration for this remarkable accomplishment. He emphasized its significance in promoting harmony, preserving culture, and fostering tranquility.