Archery, a favourite sport of Kargil youth

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Kargil, Aug.2 (ANI): Though cricket and hockey are today a big fascination for sports lovers across the country, the youth in Kargil of Ladakh region have a special charm for archery.

Kargil is known for a number of traditional sports activities and archery is one of them. The archery is played in Kargil and nearby villages during summer with a lot of fun and full of spirit.

Though there are various sporting options available for the youth here, but the youngsters have a major fascination for archery as a sport. Presently young generation of Kargil play archery as entertainment and they want to continue it in future.

Organisation of archery competitions is a usual feature of the many social and cultural events of the region.

"This is not just a sport but an important part of our culture. We participate in this (Archery events) with keen interest to preserve our cultural heritage so that we can pass on the sport to our coming generation," said Mohammad Ali, an archery enthusiast.

Traditionally, archery has been a favourite pastime for people in Kargil, as during spring season, once the sowing season is over, the villagers are in festive mood. They enjoy archery in gardens or in open spaces in village centres.

People in Kargil take big pride in playing archery, as they say it's been a part of their culture for generations. It has always been held in high esteem and been a part of culture in Kargil.

Local residents also believe that archery holds a big potential to draw tourists. They say that it can be evolved as a major charm for tourists, as it is played in Kargil in traditional style.

Specific wood, iron and feather make the instruments including bow and arrow that the players use in archery, which they play in traditional method.

People here play archery on different occasions during the year wearing traditional dresses, which bespeaks how the local people in Kargil have not forgetten their traditional game which their ancestors used to play.

Located in the Ladakh region of the state, Kargil is near the line of control (LOC) between India and Pakistan.

An armed conflict between India-Pakistan flared up here in 1999.

Union Tourism Ministry is developing Kargil, the scene of the 1999 Indo-Pak conflict, into an ideal tourist destination with an investment of rupees 484.47 lakh. By Afzal Bhat (ANI)

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