Ritika Sharma takes the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 crown

Miss Himalaya Pageant Bureau |

Twenty-year-old Ritika Sharma, a medical student working as a radiation therapist, won the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 crown at a modest event held last night at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in McLeod Ganj.

The 23-year-old winner said, “Winning this pageant is a big responsibility. I have to live up to many expectations. I will try to do that, and be a role model for Himalayan women.”

Twenty-year-old Palak Sharma from Chamba was chosen the First Runner-up, while 24-year-old Ashima Sharma from Jammu was given the Second Runner-up place.

Outgoing Miss Himalaya 2017 Preksha Rana passed on the crown to the winner. Ritika received a cheque of one lakh (100,000) rupees, Palak 50,000 rupees, and Ashima 25,000 rupees.

Three judges decided the winners: Dr Natasha Mehra, a general dentist with specialisation in esthetic dentistry and gum treatments; Thierry Dodin, an academic researcher and current affairs analyst on Tibet, the wider Himalayan region and Buddhism; and Tsering Tsomo, Executive Director of Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Six of the seven contestants were from Himachal Pradesh, while one was from Jammu.

Director Lobsang Wangyal said, “We will continue to put in every effort so that we will have contestants from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh in the future Miss Himalaya Pageants.”

Wangyal also announced the organisation of Miss Himalaya Pageant International in New York City next year, in addition to the Miss Himalaya Pageant in India.

Ritika would like to encourage all Himalayan women to try something new, and try to bring out the hidden sides of yourselves, She says, “I hope there will be contestants from East to West of the Himalaya in next year’s pageant.”