Ice Hockey in India has surprisingly deep roots. Areas like Shimla, Kashmir and Ladakh have traditionally cold climates. As early as 1985, the Indian Army and local youth started playing the game to occupy themselves in the winter. They used improvised field hockey sticks and converted shoe polish tins to act as pucks.
Today, the sport has come a long way since then. It is played at the National level in Ladakh, Shimla and Kashmir. Even tough we do not have any artifricial rinks available in the country, the game flourishes at these locations during the winters.
The northern states of India have six teams that play at the national level and in addition they conduct very active Learn to Play programs for the children and women.
Many ex pats from the Canadian and Russian consulates in Mumbai and Delhi have been playing the game in Ladakh. The whole concept of playing in – 20 degree centigrade at the highest Ice Hockey rinks in the world is enough to attract them to play in India.