The history of ice hockey in India dates back almost 100 years, when ice hockey was a favorite pastime for the British in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. The Shimla Ice Skating Club is still very active in promoting ice sports in India. In the early '70s, the Ladakh Scouts, a battalion of the Indian army posted in the high border regions, took up the game. The high Changthang Plateau's frozen streams and high altitude lakes make the region an ideal place to play ice hockey, and as a result the game spread amongst the army. The game gained more widespread popularity exhibition matches began taking place in Leh in the winter. With little to do during the region's harsh winters, locals began to play on a small irrigation pond in Karzoo, Leh.
Ice hockey gear was not and is still not available to buy in Ladakh. The few locals who have contacts outside Ladakh have requested friends to get ice hockey skates. The Ladakh Scouts are well equipped as they get their gear through the army. The Jammu & Kashmir department of tourism also has a full set of equipment, but is reluctant to spare any. The only place in India where ice sports equipment is readily available is Shimla, a small hill station in the northwestern part of India, where two Chinese brothers began making skates that are still used today.
Due to the lack of accessible equipment, Ladhakis began to improvise, with the first teams obtaining ice skating blades from Shimla and nailing them to army ammunition boots. Roller skates and ground hockey sticks were also used. To create pucks, locals cut the thick, rubber heels of army boots into a rounded shape. Goal keepers wore ground hockey pads but lacked helmets; neither helmets nor knee and elbow pads were used by other players. Despite injuries due to this lack of protective gear, the game has continued to grow in popularity in the region.