Leh Independence Day 2017 – A Photo Journey

Thankfully I realized on time that this blog was yet to be posted. I am so behind with my content that my blogs from 2016 are still pending.


Last year, I travelled across Himalayas to contribute my help to the NGOs working towards the maintenance and restoration of local ecology. This journey took me to Leh, at an NGO which was developing ways to create a sustainable balance between the locals and the Snow Leopards who’d often kill their livestock for food.



My experience there is something to be recounted in another blog post. A month and a half which I spent in Leh was filled with surprises that I’d have never experienced otherwise. One of these moments was when I got to see the Independence Day’s event at one of the highest parade grounds of India open for the public.DSC_0019


I have spent three years in Delhi and haven’t been to a single Independence Day or Republic Day Parade. I used to find flag march at my school highly boring where elders had no regard for the life of children spending two hours in harsh sunlight. But witnessing the same in Leh was something different, something really beautiful. Despite the fact that the local politician who was also one of the chief guests, decided to spend more than an hour counting achievements of his government while the children stood in harsh sunlight on a verge of fainting. But everything that followed after was out of the world.

Leh Offbeat (1)

Leh Offbeat (2)Leh Offbeat (3)Leh Offbeat (4)

Since I haven’t been to many Independence Day parades so from my experience this was probably the first one where the girls led the charge instead of boys who generally do it. The troop of armed forces and paramilitary forces displayed an amazing feat of discipline. Following this, every school’s troop marched in the similar manner.

Leh activities (1)Leh activities (2)

I personally feel that I found the group of girls from a local religious school (Madarsa) the most charming one. There is so much misconception about Kashmir and areas around that we often end up believing whatever media feeds us. So as a small group marched with their heads and hijab held high, they broke at-least 80% of the stereotypes that I had known of in the past. Also, this little girl smiling at my camera has to be the cutest thing ever.

Ladakh Armed forces (1)Ladakh Armed forces (2)

This blog is an attempt at showing that there is more to write about Ladakh than the regular touristy spots. This is one such post that will probably make up your mind to do something different when you visit this gorgeous destination the coming summers.

Ladakh Armed forces (3)

27 thoughts on “Leh Independence Day 2017 – A Photo Journey

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  1. I also never went to the independence day or republic day parade at Rajpath and also found the flag hoisting at school boring – the only thing that attracted me was the food packet given at the end of it. 🙂

    The one here looks superb and that’s a great thing to know about the participation of the madrasah girls – I photo needed to go viral – for the good. Surely you have spent a superb time there.

  2. The parade! I am from Russia and we see a lot of them. The one you show is so different from what I am used to see. People marching… that is similar, but the faces, costumes even emotions are different.

  3. These photos are incredible! I’ve never heard of the history behind this Independence Day. In the US we always celebrate our Independence Day with fireworks but we don’t always think about the fact that other people have independence days too.

  4. Your photos are so beautiful! I do remember that the national day parades in my country used to bore me as well until I got into photography and then saw a different side of them.

  5. I’m actually more a fan of Republic day parades, with the associated military parade. Always hated the speeches though. But is a parade unlike any other. I appreciate the way you have captured the children marching past in your photos!

  6. Wow their outfits are so colorful nd stunning! Celebrating the Independence Day is one of the most important day even here in the Philippines. Its our time to reflect and be thankful.

  7. In love with the photos, and You are so right about Ladakh. About time people stopped treating it in bipolar terms – and I think you know what I mean here. So many dimensions are there to this part of the world – we just stick to two aspects – biking and blood.

  8. It is such a colorful event, must have been really lovely to witness it. I hope no one fainted standing in all that heat for that long. I feel for the little children. The photography is beautiful….

  9. Your photos are absolutely stunning! The clarity and sharpness just blows my mind. What a special experience this must be and thank you for sharing it with us (as supposed to the usual touristy stuff hahaa)!

  10. I agree that experiencing the Independence Day parade at Leh would have been quite amazing. The photos are really nice

  11. Independence Day is the most glorious event to attend as it reflects the whole culture and spirits of country. I loved the colorful and diversity of Leh’s Independence Day celebrations.

  12. This is the first time I am hearing about Leh and it indeed seems like an excellent place to explore. Celebrating their Independence Day sounds like an ultimate experience. How many days would you recommend staying in Leh to see all the highlights there?

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