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Tribal women in Himachal entitled to ancestral property: High Court

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 Shimla: Setting aside almost a century old customary law that  allows only men to inherit ancestral property if it is not  bequeathed, the Himachal Pradesh High Court in a historic  judgment observed that tribal women, too, could inherit property.

“The daughters in the tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh shall  inherit property in accordance with the Hindu Succession Act of  1956 and not as per customs. This is in order to prevent women  from facing social injustice and all forms of exploitation,” Justice  Rajiv Sharma said in a judgment provided to the media on Friday.

He said the laws must evolve with the times if societies are to progress.

“It is made clear by way of abundant precaution that the observations made here only pertain to right to inherit the property by daughters under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, and not any other privileges enjoyed by the tribals in the tribal areas,” he said in a 60-page order.

The law, “Wajib Ul Urj”, which came into force in the state’s tribal district of Kinnaur in 1926, permits only men to inherit ancestral property, if it is not bequeathed.

It is also applicable in Lahaul and Spiti districts and some remote areas of Chamba district.

The patriarchal law even bars widows from inheriting their husbands’ property, which under the customary law is transferred to the sons.

Justice Sharma upheld an order passed by the district judge of Chamba in 2002 to grant legal property rights to women.

“The tribal belts have modernized with the passage of time. They profess Hindu rites and customs. They do not follow different gods. Their culture may be different but customs must conform to the constitutional philosophy,” the judge added.

“It is really a victory over social evil,” 61-year-old social activist Rattan Manjari, chairperson of the Mahila Kalyan Parishad, a women’s rights group, told IANS over phone.

Manjari said that the condition of deserted women, widows and spinsters in the district was deplorable due the customary law.

“Now the inheritance right would enable these women in tribal areas to live with dignity,” she added.

Manjari’s mother bequeathed to her the family’s entire agricultural land though she had a brother.

“The women commanded much respect in tribal society, especially with the polyandry system in vogue until a few decades ago, and never felt the need of the right to inherit property.”

“With times changing, however, there were many cases when women, after the death of husband or parents, were abandoned by the family members, forcing them to do petty jobs (for survival),” she said. (IANS)

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Tirthan Valley: Himachal Pradesh’s Hidden Paradise

The backdrop of Tirthan valley is the beautiful mountain range which seems to be touching the sky

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Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the lesser known travel destinations in india. Wikimedia Commons
Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the lesser known trekking destinations in india. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Tirthan Valley is an unexplored mountain valley in Himachal Pradesh
  • It has something for everyone
  • One can do activities like trekking, birdwatching and camping, etc. at Tirthan Valley

India is full of mountains and there is no dearth of trekking destinations. However, most of the trekking destinations in India have now become highly cliche and overcrowded. Wherever you go, you will find tourists loitering around.

India has many amazing hill stations. Wikimedia Commons
India has many amazing hill stations. Wikimedia Commons

Many people go on treks in search of peace and adventure, however, most of the popular trekking spots have now become highly commercial hubs where locals are trying to capitalise on their location. But, there is this one hidden gem in Himachal Pradesh which is still hugely unexplored. the Tirthan Valley.

Also Read: Lambasingi: A Snowfall Experience Like Never Before

Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is relatively unknown and has something for everyone. It offers activities like wildlife watching, trekking and fishing, etc.

Here is the list of few reasons as to why Tirthan Valley should be on your must-visit destinations list:

Beautiful River and Riverside Houses 

Tirthan Valley has really beautiful forests and through them flows the Tirthan River. The river is one of the reasons why Tirthan Valley looks so beautiful. Also, you can find riverside guest houses which don’t only look beautiful but are also incredibly cosy.

Tirthan River is beautifully calm and you'll find many different kinds of fishes in it. Wikimedia Commons
Tirthan River is beautifully calm and you’ll find many different kinds of fishes in it. Wikimedia Commons

Beautiful mountains surrounded by clouds

The backdrop of Tirthan valley is the beautiful mountain range which seems to be touching the sky, there are dense coniferous forests and sprawling alpine meadows which are perfect for sigh-seeing. Not only is it beautifully serene, but also it is one of the best places in Himachal Pradesh for bird watching.

Visit the Serolsar Lake

Tirthan valley doesn’t disappoint the lake-lovers either. There are two beautiful lakes which you can visit, the Serolsar Lake which is a 6 km trek from the Jalori Pass. This lake in the middle of rocks and snow is one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see. There you can also visit a tiny temple devoted to Goddess Buddhi Nagin, the mother of the 60 Nag Devtas who are believed to reside in the lake.

Tirthan Valley is relatively unknown and that's what makes it so peaceful. Wikimedia Commons
Tirthan Valley is relatively unknown and that’s what makes it so peaceful. Wikimedia Commons

Experience the Chehni Kothi Charm 

While in Tirthan Valley, visit the charming 1500 years old castle, Chehni Kothi. It was once a 15 storeys high building but now only 10 storeys remain. Chehni Kothi is built in traditional style and is the tallest structure in the Western Himalayan region.

Hidden Waterfalls 

A hike from the Rolla village will lead you to the beautiful waterfall amidst the forested valley. The tiny waterfall is perfect for a small a picnic. Its clean and pristine water will surely make for a serene ambience.

Also Read: Rundown of 7 Mountains in India

Other than what all is mentioned above, one can camp under a starry night at the Tirthan valley. One can also witness the culture and tradition of the place. Tirthan valley is a beautiful place full of fresh energy which won’t disappoint you.