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Ladakh entrepreneur turns 150-year-old ancestral building into luxurious resort
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Ladakh entrepreneur turns 150-year-old ancestral building into luxurious resort

Post by Umar Raina on Sunday, January 22, 2023

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A young lady from Tukcha, a small village on the outskirts of Union Territory of Ladakh, converts her grand mother’s 150 years old ancestral building into luxurious modern Resort and named it Dolkhar.
Realizing the great potential of natural resources within Ladakh, Rigzan Lachic collected different materials available from different areas of Ladakh to use in her resort.
Her concept not only provide economic support to the different region of Ladakh especially women folk but the resort was also loved by the visitors staying there while enjoys the essence of Ladakh.
She not only preserved her ancestral homebut also successfully turns the natural resources available in Ladakh into luxurious items.
Lachic, after completing her studies outside Ladakh, she started working there but quit her job in 2017 and came back to Ladakh to start her own venture.
“Every year when I would come back to Ladakh for my summer holiday, my grandmother would ask me whethermy education would help me give back to the people of our land. I spent all my life outside Ladakh,” she said.
She said that she perused her education in different parts of India and then worked in Tokyo and Delhi but never felt satisfied with her life.
“It was only after the sudden demise of my grandmother that i came back to Ladakh and started working in my own land,” she said.
When I came back to Ladakh, initially I knew the tourism industry, if moulded in the right direction, was a very lucrative business idea, she said.
Speaking about her resort, she said the assimilation of local craft and architecture is of paramountto Dolkhar’s core identity.Structures at Dolkhar are made out of locally sourced materials using local techniques of construction and bylocal artisans.
“For instance, we have used compressed stabilised earth blocks [CSEB] for the building, localwillow and poplar wood for the roofs, and traditional columns and beams for structural support,” she said.
The whole developmental process at Dolkhar also aims at creating a zero-waste and zero-plastic ecosystem, she said.
Dolkhar has an in-house restaurant, Tsas by Dolkahr. Built around Dolkhar’s kitchen garden,Tsas is a hyper-local, avant-garde vegetarian restaurant set in an apple and apricot orchard within the resort that sources from local, ethical, sustainable producers to showcase re-imagined modern Ladakhi cuisine that is built onimmense respect for nature and seasonality.
The front building for Dolkhar where the reception, restaurant, bar and spa are located was built as a recreationof our ancestral home, she said.
“Current state of local architecture, craft and food is a great indicator of how disassociated Ladakh is from its cultural origin. We wanted to take tourism in Ladakh into the future without leaving behind anything that truly made Ladakh, Ladakh,” she said.
What characterises Dolkhar is the use of local materials. The villas here essentially serve as a showcase for some wonderful local craft techniques.
From our walls, furnishing, and basins, to our lights, laundry bags and basins- we have used and highlighted to the best of our ability the plethora of local craft and architectural techniques that call Ladakh home.
However, the resort is close enough so that you have access to everything
you might need- from the airport to groceries to medical facilities while still being far enough so you hear only the mountains echo, she said.

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