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Go green: Himachal government to tap wind, solar energy in Spiti

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Kaza: Terming Spiti Valley ideal for solar and wind energy generation, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday said that more such projects would be developed in the area.

Speaking at a public rally at Kaza, the headquarters of Spitia, the chief minister announced that ‘nautor’ or right to utilize the waste land owned by the government would be given to those persons who are landless or having a small landholding with them.

The chief minister said the bridge over the Keer rivulet would be soon constructed and its approach road would be completed soon.Welcome_to_Spiti_Valley

The bridge was washed away last year in flash-floods.

“The government is always considerate towards the demands of the tribal people and today Lahaul-Spiti district is fast developing and all the villages of the valley would be connected with roads,” the chief minister said.

Regarding construction of the Mudh-Bhaba road connecting the Spiti Valley with Kinnaur district, he said the state has taken up the case relating to forest clearance for the project with the central government.

He said the road network in the Spiti Valley would be completed on priority. The roads included Losar to Kyomo, Rangreek to Kwang, Kaza to Langcha and Shithling to Mane to Siluk.

A part of the remote but picturesque Lahaul-Spiti district, the Spiti Valley, a cold desert dotted by tiny hamlets spread over the Himalayan peaks, adjoining Tibet, is a land of Buddhism and virgin nature. (IANS)

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Himachal people celebrate Diwali in unusual way

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Dhami: This Himachal Pradesh town, once a hunter’s paradise of British India, is known for a unique cultural life – a virtual shower of stones to appease Hindu goddess, Kali.

A day after Diwali, the festival of lights, male adults of the town in their colourful best gather in the former princely state of Dhami, some 25 km from state capital Shimla, and pelt one another with small stones.

At least, six people were injured on Thursday and the pelting lasted for more than 15 minutes. It was subsequently stopped as one of the participants started bleeding profusely, a government official told IANS.

In local parlance, the ritual is known as ‘pattharon ka mela’ (fair of stones).

The pelting of stones is between two groups – one representing the royal family of the erstwhile princely state of Dhami and the others comprising the commoners – over a circular structure, where a rani or queen had committed ‘sati’ or the former practice of a widow throwing herself onto her husband’s funeral pyre.

Old-timers say it was a bloody affair in the past.

“The practice was introduced centuries ago to shun the tradition of ‘narbali’ (human sacrifice) that was prevalent here also like other parts in the state,” octogenarian Dhyan Chand told IANS.

Earlier, there used to be a bloody affair at the stone pelting ritual, he said. “Nowadays with the intervention of human rights groups and the deployment of adequate police, it has become more a ritual exercise and the participation is getting lesser each year.”

A local committee, mainly comprising descendants of the erstwhile royal family, is the ritual organiser.

To avoid a bloody clash, the government deployed adequate police and medical teams.

The ‘battle’ of stones commences after the deity of the Narsingh temple in over 250-year old Halog, the crumbling palace, arrives at the Kali temple also located in the town.

The stone pelting exercise takes place between the residents of Halog, the erstwhile capital of Dhami estate, and neighbouring village Jamog.

As per the belief, a devotee who gets injuries in stone-pelting is considered a devout of goddess Kali. The oozing blood is applied as a ’tilak’ to the goddess.

The one-day fair was attended by locals and tourists in good strength.

On this day, the locals buy farm implements to ensure prosperity and protection from natural calamities.

“We normally buy implements on this auspicious occasion,” farmer Bhim Sen said.

Goddess Kali personifies ‘shakti’ or divine energy and considered the goddess of time and change and is widely worshipped in Hinduism.

(IANS)

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