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Jul 2, 2008

A super cute video uploaded by Gregory Lyons, filmed in northern India and the Himalayas. Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!


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Posted: Jul 2, 2008 8:29am
Jul 2, 2008

12 people, 3 days and 1 school. The story of a community project trek deep into the Himalaya to help restore a school.

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Posted: Jul 2, 2008 8:28am
Jul 2, 2008

Suchita Ambarkdekar, 36, a financial consultant, and her businessman husband Deepak, 43, travelled with their friends Sushma and Satish Bhatt and their children to Kullu-Manali for a holiday in May last year. The destination was perfect for the kids and they spiced it up with some great activities.

Why did you decide to go to Kullu-Manali for your holiday? Hasn’t it been done to death?

Well, as it happens, though we as a family like to travel widely, we had never been to Kullu-Manali! In fact, the Bhatts, too, had never visited that part of the country. We were a total of 10 people, five adults and five children, ranging in age from four to 46. Because we have young children, we prefer not to go to places too out of the way, so this destination suited us perfectly. It helped that we were looking for a cooler climate and natural surroundings, not a city.

Read the full trip report here.

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Posted: Jul 2, 2008 8:28am
Jul 2, 2008


Reported by MANSHI ASHER

ALMOST TWO years ago, Alfred Ford, American business tycoon and great-grandson of Henry Ford, announced his plans to set up the “world-class” Rs 1500 crore Himalayan Ski Village (HSV) in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. The project quickly ran into opposition from an unlikely quarter – the village deities of Kullu valley. In a dev sansad, or ‘conference of the gods’ called by community elders, 164 local deities assembled, who, speaking through their oracles, rejected the project outright. This ‘divine intervention’ eventually led to a full-fledged campaign against the project, briefly making it the centre of controversy in Himachal Pradesh.

The Ski Village is now once again back in the news, after a Public Interest Litigation filed by local organisation Jan Jagran Vikas Samiti (JJV demanding the scrapping of the project on environmental and other grounds, was dismissed by the High Court of Himachal this April. The court instead supported the state government’s proposal to setup a six-member committee under the chairmanship of the state tourism secretary, to look into the issues surrounding the project. JJVS has now made a submission to the committee detailing why the project should not be sanctioned, but has received no response, except that the committee is planning a site visit soon.

It’s the sheer magnitude of the project that has convinced local residents that it deserves to be scrapped altogether. Their concerns have been articulated in a memorandum submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF)under the banner of the Jan Hit Sangarsh Samiti, a network of 24 organisations in the valley. “From the information available about the project, our estimate is that a total of 12 panchayats with a population of 40,000 will be directly and indirectly affected by the project” states the letter to the Ministry.

The foremost concern seems to be of construction activity in the alpine areas and high forested slopes leading to destruction of temperate forests of cedar and alpine grassland meadows in these areas. “The alpine meadows are home to many medicinal plants and rare wild life like the monal pheasant, goral, musk deer and even leopards,” says Lal Chand Thakur, leader of Jan Hit Sangarsh Samiti. “Soil erosion is the first fallout of any construction on a mountain side. This leads to problems like slope destabilisation, flooding and landslides. In the long run, the topography disturbance will result in change of glacial flows,” adds Pushpal Thakur, resident of Hallan Panchayat and one of the petitioners in the PIL.

Himalayan Ski Village managing director Ajay Dabra, who is also a share holder in the project, is not too perturbed by these concerns. “We have a whole team of environmental experts at work and we will follow the due process to obtain all the clearances. Even the arguments raised in the petitions filed against us are too weak and they do not stand much chance,” he says. With reputed institutions like The Energy Research Institute (TERI) and Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) Bhopal hired as environment consultants, Dabra’s confidence does not seem misplaced.

Read the full article
here
.
See the Himalayan Ski Village site here.

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Posted: Jul 2, 2008 8:28am
Jul 2, 2008

By Prem Thakur
Kullu, May 24 (ANI): With mercury rising in the plains, people from different parts of the country are flocking to hilly areas to beat the heat.
And, one of the major tourists’ draws is Himachal Pradesh’s scenic Kullu Valley.
Many tourists throng to Kullu because of its adventure-related pursuits like trekking and white water river rafting.
There are 58 well equipped set ups in Kullu which offer river rafting facilities to tourists.

This year, due to the heavy rush of tourists and other visitors, the rate of occupancy at the hotels in Kullu Valley region has almost touched the optimum level.
Around 5,000 domestic and international tourists from across the country are entertained at various spots across Kullu and offered a gala experience in riverrafting. Children below five years of age are not allowed since rapid travel over gushing waters is considered unsuitable for such tender kids.

“This is my first experience and this river was rough for rafting but our instructor helped us a lot. We performed exciting river rafting and had a unique memorable experience,” said Pradesh Vasudevan, one tourist.

The operators of these adventure events provide requisite safety gadgets for tourists like life jackets. As compared to previous years, this summer has witnessed better business in raft rentals and adventure tourism. The rafting boats can travel up to seven or fourteen kilometers. The expense for the ride depends upon the time and make of the boats.

“Tourism has increased and over the past one year the rafting business is doing well. Tourists are coming in large numbers to go on river rafting and are feeling good about it,” said Dinesh Sharma, one adventure sports operator. Summer is the best season for this activity as the current of the spring waters is at its peak in this season, for a thrilling experience. (ANI)

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Posted: Jul 2, 2008 8:26am
Jul 2, 2008

Calcutta News.Net
Saturday 14th June, 2008 (IANS)

A crucial bridge linking a famous Sikh shrine at Manikaran in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh collapsed Saturday morning, snapping the road link to the shrine.

The bailey bridge collapsed after a container truck tried to cross it despite the warning that the bridge could not take such a heavy load, Superintendant of Police (Kullu) Jagat Ram told IANS on phone.

Score of people were stuck as the truck was poised precariously atop the collapsed bridge till Saturday evening.

Manikaran is known for its hot springs of water with high sulphur concentration.

Jagat Ram said the bridge would be repaired in a few days. He said the traffic to the shrine from the direction of Mandi was diverted via Bajaura village in Kullu district.

However, Anil Kant, a resident of Kullu, said the repair of the bridge might take more than two months.

The army had built the bailey bridge after the link road to the main bridge across the Beas river was washed away in the 1995 floods.

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Posted: Jul 2, 2008 8:26am
Jul 2, 2008


Shimla, June 11
In order to attract tourists to fruits laden orchards of the state the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation will organise an apple festival in the Kullu-Manali area this season.

This was stated by secretary, civil aviation, Manisha Nanda, while presiding over the review meeting of various works being undertaken by the department, here today.

She said the department would use the fruit orchards to attract tourists all over the state and the initiative in this regard would be taken by holding an apple festival in Kullu-Manali during the season.

She said the department would develop new picnic spots in Mandi area and would set up a tourist reception centre, parking and a park at Pragpur in the Kangra area.

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Posted: Jul 2, 2008 8:26am
Jul 2, 2008

From ANI
Himachal emerging to be a paradise for para-gliding loving tourists

Manali (Himachal Pradesh), June 15: Paragliding that is a relatively new aero-sport for many in the country, is steadily popularizing especially in Himachal Pradesh, where it has emerged as a major charm for tourists who wish to enjoy it as they visit the scenic State.

Thousands of people from different parts of the Indian and abroad have found Himachal, as their ultimate destination to cherish this adventurous and nerve-wracking sport.

Himachal is known for its adventure sports activities.

Besides being a major attraction for tourists, paragliding has also generated a lot of opportunities for local residents here in various localities.

Hundreds of local youth are today engaged in this adventure sport to offer full enjoyment to the tourists and value for money. .

It's been only a decade when tandem flying was started here otherwise it existed here since 1989. The slopes in Solang Nala near Manali offer some of the finest sites to enjoy this sport.

Catrine a German tourist, said: "I came to Manali and was looking for the sport that I can attempt. I found it's possible to fly here. It's great. I just came over and asked the instructor. He said that it's possible to fly and I should try it and now, I am enjoying it."

"This is the first time that I did it and it was wonderful experience. (While gliding) I looked at Valley. It looked great. I could see everything. It was a great experience," said Vivek, tourist.

Every year over nine million tourists visit Himachal Pradesh out of this seven million tourist visit Kullu and Manali areas of the State.

It not only helps the tourism industry but also generates temporary employment for a lot of local youth. They offer different package for tourists as per tourists' convenience and also manage to earn their livelihood.

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Posted: Jul 2, 2008 8:26am
Jun 14, 2008



Trekking season is at its peak in Himachal Pradesh and several enthusiastic trekkers from different parts of the country and abroad are making a beeline for a thrilling experience here.

Thousands of trekkers have thronged to Kullu valley to enjoy its mystic and scenic beauty.

"I have come to Kullu Manali for the first time. I just love the mountains. The place is so fascinating and spectacular that I don't have words to express my feelings. The most important thing is that whosoever thought of and managing the complications and vastness of these adventures must be great minds behind this," said Ankita Shrivastava, a trekker from Uttar Pradesh.

"I did a lot of trekking in Himachal Pradesh and I really liked it because it is cheap as you can arrange water and everything, a price that is payable for us," said Isabel, a trekker from Belgium.

One can find trekkers belonging to Africa, Europe, the Middle East and different regions of Asia who arrive here to enjoy and explore the Himalayas.

The long treks are in the regions of Chandertal, Surajtal Lake and Pin Parvati Pass, and Spiti valley as well as the Ladakh region towards Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

There are world famous trekking routes like Chanderkhani Pass, Beas Kund, Bhrigu, Hamta Pass.

"We have around thousands of people participating in trekking every year. Here we have loads of organisations, which promote these adventure activities. The famous places for trekking and adventure courses are Chanderkhani Pass, Hamta Top, Vyaskund Trek, Saarkund Trek, Saar Pass trek and many more," said Amar Chand, one local trekking organiser.

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Posted: Jun 14, 2008 12:35pm
May 26, 2008

Videos and movie clips about Kullu, the beautiful paradise in the Himalayas. Surrounding areas are included as well.

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Posted: May 26, 2008 1:48pm

 

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