Every Wednesday

Dating the divine
Dalit deities move in and people for animals are demanding an end to the slaughter as modernity clashes with tradition in the celebration of the internationally acclaimed Kulu Dasehra. Is the Dasehra losing its divinity, asks Kuldeep Chauhan
GOD’S OWN: The colourful Kulu Dashera Festival is a big draw for tourists from home and abroad

HIllside view
Parents, let them grow and go…

What I say here may pain some parents a bit. But please do think about it. Nobody likes injections, nobody likes surgery — but we take them when there is no choice. Life demands that we keep modifying our notions, attitudes— without disturbing our ethos, basic values, essential strengths. If we stand rigidly, dogmatically against the changing times, we will break— just like those brittle straws in the wind.


Saving a dying art
Aggressive marketing and training avenues. If you though these were the two key things missing for proper promotion of the Kangra school of paintings, the district administration has chalked out a detailed plan to save the dying art. The three main temples in the district—Chamunda Devi, Brajeshwari Devi and Jwalaji—are imparting training to artistes on the temple premises and their work is being put up for sale at Kangra Museum.

MINIATURE MAGIC: Kangra paintings are famous the world over for their delicacy and detail. The themes range from the mythical to the royal.
Kangra paintings are famous the world over for their delicacy and detail. The themes range from the mythical to the royal.

shimla Diary
Charity ends at home
For so many people these days ‘charity not just begins at home’ but ends there too. Not being any different, the Transport Minister, Mr G.S. Bali, too has no qualms in giving priority in getting government projects, schemes and even jobs for the people of his constituency, Nagrota Bagwan in district Kangra.

Naldehra greens
Greenery, golf, pahari culture…Naldehra showcases all. Only 22 km from Shimla, Naldehra (2044 mt) nestles on edge of dense conifers’ grove on a green glade having two small circular water ponds, once belonging to Raja of Koti, with a grand view of Saila peak. On its fringes, is an ancient exquisite pahari temple of Mahunag Devta Naldeo from where Naldehra takes its name.
A view of the Naldehra Golf Course pleases the eye
HOW GREEN IS THE VALLEY: A view of the Naldehra Golf Course pleases the eye

Dress code for the hills
It is the dress code of the people and more so the women of a place that reflects the culture of a people, their pride as well as in many cases their prejudice. The ethnic dolls of Himachal Pradesh represent the people themselves and the colourful dresses add warmth to the cool climate of the hills.

Queen of hills to breathe again
The ‘queen of hills’ may finally get respite from the irritating traffic jams sparing lakhs of tourists, who throng the hill resort round the year, of the parking blues shortly. The government has prepared a comprehensive Rs 100 crore project to decongest the city under which the more than century old Cart road (now known as Circular road) will be upgraded to a double lane highway.
Besides, six parking –cum-shopping complexes will be built to create parking space for about 2,000 vehicles. The tunnel near Auckland House will be lowered by about 10 m and converted into a double lane traffic tunnel to help circumvent the 600 m narrow stretch of the Circular road skirting the Government Girls College at a cost of Rs 6.5 crore. The crumbling curved wall supporting northern portal of Victory tunnel will also be redone to widen the road.

New look for Dalhousie Youth Hostel
Dalhousie’s Youth Hostel has undoubtedly helped in putting the popular virgin hill station of Dalhousie on the International map of tourism by connecting it to International Online Booking Network recently.

LOOKING UP: The Dalhousie Youth Hostel meets international standards

The Dalhousie Youth Hostel meets international standards

In sync with time: Soods
There is a radical change among the Soods of Himachal who were once known as the Banias of the hills, says Akshay Sood
Members of the Sood community along with Khatris and Mahajans were the principal castes engaged in business in the Kangra and Hoshiarpur hill regions. The Kangra Gazetteer (1883-84) equated them with the Banias of the plains. Pahari (uchandia) Soods invariably originated from Garli-Pragpur, Jwalamukhi, Dehra, Amb and Palampur areas of Kangra.

Nature’s Splendour
The Great Himalayan National Park in Kulu valley is an example of how an area can be preserved along with its pristine beauty if given due attention, says Vishal Gulati
If you are the one who loves to enjoy virgin nature, wildlife and exquisite flora and fauna, the Great Himalayan National Park in Kulu district is a perfect destination to visit.

A peep into past
Coin collection is not just a hobby for him. Rather, it’s a passion of peeping into the history of every single coin that Ankur Bansal gets hold of. He’s been doing it from the age of seven, and now, when he is in his late twenties, his hobby has become his commitment. Ankur, who hails from the quaint hill town of Kasauli, has travelled many ancient places in North India to claim his hunger for coin collection.
Prized possession: Ankur with his collection of coins
Prized possession: Ankur with his collection of coins

Forgotten Creator
You have heard people often complaining about God neglecting his favourite creatures, but people neglecting Him? Unheard of. But true. Brahma, the creator of the universe and of all beings, is suffering this very fate.

Crisis in a coffee cup
The favourite hang-out of intelligentsia in Dharamsala, the Indian Coffee House, is on the verge of closure. With net losses running over 35 lakh, the coffee house authorities say they are unable to meet the demand of the Municipal Council to hike the building rent and the head office of the Indian Coffee Workers’ Co-operative Society Limited in Delhi has already given a go-ahead to close down the cafe.
CRUMBLING DOWN: The Indian Coffee House is a picture of sheer neglect
The Indian Coffee House is a picture of sheer neglect



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