Monday December 9, 2019

Tracing roots of divinity in Himachal Pradesh: An abode of powerful deities

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By Srishti Jaswal

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Everyone knows that Himachal has high mountains and deep valleys, but the startling facts about local Himachali Devi-Devtas (deities) are rarely known to the masses. The Himachali valleys are believed to be home to powerful and majestic souls. It’s believed that these deities can wreak havoc upon everyone as well as reestablish anyone. The people of Himachal worship them with true and unwavering faith.

It’s believed that these divine beings were very powerful rulers of various places in Himachal once upon a time. After their death, their soul, or ‘aatma,’ was transferred into idols which are carried over their ‘Rath,’ or chariots. Each chariot is carried by four men on their shoulders. Many people invite these local deities to their homes to purify or inaugurate various ceremonies.

All over Himachal, many festivals and fairs are organized in which the whole community of Devi-Devtas are respectfully invited. In Mandi, a town in Himachal Pradesh, every year a Shivratri fair is organized in the month of February. It is believed that all these Devi Devtas visit Mandi every year to meet other deities and to celebrate Shivratri.

There is a caucus of deities during the ‘mela,’ also known as ‘jaleb’ in the local language. During the seven day fair of Shivratri, ‘jaleb’ is held on three alternate days. All the important dignitaries are present during ‘jaleb,’ including the DC and sometimes Chief Minister of H.P.

It’s believed that these deities can actually control their ‘Rath.’ If they do not want to visit any place, no matter how much force people exert and try to take them there, they don’t move from their places; if they want to visit some other place than planned, they start exerting force in that direction.

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Many people have witnessed these supernatural powers in ‘Rath’ of these divinities. At times, they bend their ‘Rath’ to bless people. ‘Dev Kamrunaag’ is considered one of the most powerful Devtas. It’s believed that if someone with a true heart wishes and donates a piece of gold in this deity’s lake then his wish will surely be granted.

Locals of Himachal usually worship Lord Kamrunaag for their heir. Another powerful Dev is ‘Prashar Rishi’; it’s believed that he was lord ‘Parshuram’ of Mahabharata. A lake located in the western Himalayas called, ‘Prashar jheel,’ is named after him. There is a small islet in the middle of the lake which revolves and completes a circle of the lake in twelve months.

There are a lot of supernatural phenomena hidden in the hills of Himachal Pradesh which are attributed to these divinities. A lot of research is going on to figure out the significant causes behind these portents. Let’s see what science uncovers.

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Himachal Pradesh To Buy-Back Non-Recyclable Plastic Waste

The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on Monday gave its approval to the draft policy to buy-back non-recyclable plastic wastes and single-use plastics at a minimum support price of Rs 75 per kg

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Plastic, Environment, Himachal, Non-biodegradable
Many countries are having trouble managing the growing amount of sinle-us plastic waste. Pixabay

The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on Monday gave its approval to the draft policy to buy-back non-recyclable plastic wastes and single-use plastics at a minimum support price of Rs 75 per kg.

The plastic wastes will be purchased from the ragpickers, individuals collecting waste from households and urban local bodies, a government spokesperson told IANS.

In June last year, the state government imposed a ban on the use at official functions of thermocol plates as they are the major cause of pollution, as well of plastic water bottles of less than one-litre capacity. Since October 2, 2009, there has been a complete ban on the use of polythene bags.

The Cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, also approved the draft of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Policy 2019, aimed at holistic development of tourism with special focus on ecotourism, agro-organic, snow and adventure.

Plastic, Environment, Himachal, Non-biodegradable
The Department of Environment has proposed an amendment to Goa Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, for banning single use of plastic. Pixabay

It approved a capital investment subsidy for tourism projects in underdeveloped areas and grant to tourism units for access to roads and water supply.

The Cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, gave its consent to include 428 gram panchayats in 10 districts under the Integrated Development Projects for Source Sustainability and Climate Resilient Rainfed Agriculture.

This project of the Department of Economic Affairs aims to strengthen the sustainable development of natural resources in forest areas bordering agricultural land of the panchayats.

ALSO READ: State Tourism Ministers Demand Reduction Of GST On Hotels

Besiedes, the Cabinet approved a proposal to procure and distribute 9,700 laptops to meritorious students of Class X and XII under the Srinivasa Ramanujan Student Digital Yojana.

It also approved the enhancement of the financial assistance being provided to World War II veterans from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 per month, and for their widows from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 from September 1. (IANS)