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Art & Culture

Way to Bollywood : Himachal gears up for ‘Sangam Sur Sangeet Ka’ 2014





‘The Cedar Films’ set to organize Season-2 of singing contest in 2014 in Himachal. The auditions to begin in April end. Encouraging hidden singers, dancers, actors of Himachal and highlight it on higher platform is motive of the initiative says organizer.

SHIMLA--Recently, four young singers from Himachal had an opportunity of playback singing for a Bollywood movie. Ankush Bhardwaj (Kotgarh), Vanita Thakur (Arki), Poonam Sharma (Shimla) and Sonam Chaudhary (Shimla) returned back to Himachal from Mumbai after recording for “The Slum Stars” and were very enthusiastic about this experience and their future. Perhaps, it’s the first time that Himachal’s young talent could directly jump onto Bollywood playback singing through a local contest. Behind this opportunity lies the initiative by the ‘Cedar Films’ through its talent hunt contest, ‘Sangam Sur Sangeet Ka’.
In 2013, the ‘Cedar Films’ successfully organized the first season of the contest. The organizer held auditions in almost every district, and the final contestants were screened through multiple rounds. Out of total 600 participants from all over the Himachal, five talented singers emerged out as final performers. As capable judges, Kartik Sharma (Voice of Himalaya), Narinder Nittu (Indian Idol Fame and finalist of Awaaj Hindustan Ki), and Sh.Gopal Sharma screened the participants for the finals.
The selected five singers performed at Shimla Gaiety Theater. Four talented singers, the winner and the runner ups, made their way straight to the Bollywood. The winner and first and second runner ups were also awarded with Rs. 1 lac, Rs. 50,000, and Rs.20,000 respectively. There were some gifts like computers and smartphones from the sponsors as well.

However, more than the monetary awards, what mattered was the opportunity of playback singing with well known Bollywood names like Shahid Malya and Tina Ghai as the Co singers and Iqbal Darbar as the music composer and director for ‘The Slum Star’. Under the banner of K.K.Movies & Media International “The slum Stars” is directed by Rajan Lallyapuri.
That was about the last season. The Cedar Films is set to organize Season-2 of ‘Sangam Sur Sangeet Ka’ in 2014. The auditions are likely to begin towards the end of April this year. According to the organizer, the motivation behind the initiative is to bring out the hidden talent of Himachal and highlight it on a higher platform. Further, the ‘Cedar Films’ is looking to do the same for talented actors and dancers as well.

Such a multipurpose platform for the local artists is like a fuel to their talent. Sadly, the state Govt. has miserably failed in encouraging the local artists except some occasional events for the sake of formality to justify the granted funds. Therefore, such events are likely to extend additional opportunities for aspirants in the hill state.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Art & Culture

Wah Re Corona: Himachali Folk Artist’s Lyrical Satire is Factual Rendition of India’s Agonizing Catastrophe



wah re corona

Shimla-Otherwise blatantly vocal and distinctively mass-mobilizing government of India is suddenly in the most subdued self after its proclaimed victory over the deathly virus; participation in uncontrolled election rallies; and permitting maha melas. The stalwarts are in the hiding, while helpless citizens – who voted them into power not once but in landslide victories twice – are dying due to lack of oxygen, poor – unavailable – medical facilities, and the denial stance of the ignorant in the helm.

Drawing a comparison between the fatal coronavirus and the mismanagement of the entire situation by the appalling government; a Himachali folk artist has released a factually appropriate lyrical satire that will tickle your mind and leave you to imagine what has brought this catastrophe onto us. The song is written by Rameshwar Sharma and music by Lalit Sauta. 


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Art & Culture

International Mandi Shivratri Fair Begins in Presence of 150 Local Dieties



mandi maha shivratri 2021 pics

Mandi-International Shivratri Fair of Mandi district on the occasion of Mahashivratri began on March 12, 2020, at the historic Paddal ground. While Mahashivratri is celebrated for one day in most parts, the fair in Mandi goes on for seven days.

After Pagri and worship ceremony at Raj Madhav Rai Temple – abode of principal deity Madho Rai- begun the taditional Jaleb, Shobha Yatra. This yatra is held on every every year on the occasion of Mahashivratri. It starts from Raj Madhav Rai temple to conclude at the Paddal ground. This year, over 150 deities participated in the ‘Jaleb’, the traditional Shobha Yatra from almost all parts of the district. A total of over 200 deities have been invited this year.  

Mandi shivratri pictures 2021

Picture Courtesy: JairamThakur/Twitter

Thousands of people dressed in their traditional attire participated in the procession carrying their local deities dancing all the way upto Paddal ground.

Deputy Commissioner Mandi and Chairman International Shivratri Fair Organizing Committee Rugved Thakur informed this year as many as 216 deities were invited to participate in this fair.
He said that awareness Rath has also been included in the procession to drive in the theme of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao. It was followed by the performances by pahari artists on the first night of the fair.

An increase of five percent in honorarium of Bajantries accompanying the deities was also announced.

Chief minister Jairam Thakur also participated in the Yatra and Puja (worship). The state government is celebrating the festival as Swarnim International Shivratri Fair to mark fifty years of Statehood.

Though the Chief Minister cautioned the people that the world hasn’t come out of corona pandemic and there is a need to be cautious, he himself participated in the fair without wearing a mask or taking any visible measures for social distancing. From the crowd, some people were also heard asking the Chief Minister where his mask was . 

CM Jairam Thakur not wearing mask

He said that fortunately, the number of covid-19 cases were declining constantly, which was a big sigh of relief. 

Chief Minister couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to speak about his government’s achievements on the this occasion. “Three years tenure of the State Government has been full of achievements and accomplishments,” he said.

“This year the Mandi Shivrati has gained more importance as it was being celebrated this year when the Nagar Parishad has been upgraded to Municipal Corporation,” Jai Ram Thakur said.

Further, various Departments, Boards and Corporation have set up exhibition at Paddal Ground.

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Art & Culture

Amid Steep Rise in COVID-19 Cases, HP Govt to Open Temples/Religious Places from Sept 10




Shimla- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh had reached 6830 by September 4, 2020. Yesterday the State reported 215 new positive cases with two deaths. The COVID-19 death tally rose to 48 with these new casualties reported from Sirmaur and Kangra districts.

According to the yesterday’s COVID-19 bulletin released by the State Health Department, highest 37 cases were reported in Kangra district followed by Solan (35) Sirmaur (33), Chamba (33), Mandi (32), Una (20), Bilaspur (7), Hamirpur (7), Shimla (8), and Kullu (3). Till Friday evening, the number of active cases in the state was 1815 as 4920 persons had recovered.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for August 4, 2020 ( 9 PM)


Amid this steep rise in cases in Himachal, the State Government on Friday held a Cabinet meeting in which it decided to open temples and religious places from September 10.

 The Language, Art and Culture Department will prepare SOP in this regard.  Registration would be required for people entering the State till September 15. The quarantine requirement would be reduced from 14 days to 10 days. The District Administration would strictly enforce the use of masks and social distancing in the field, the government said.

The Cabinet decided to provide wheat flour and rice to the income tax payee APL Consumers under Public Distribution System as was being provided to them earlier on APL rates and provide them pulses, edible oil, salt and sugar on zero-subsidy on actual rates.

The State Cabinet decided to request the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India to sign Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) related to Affordable Rental Housing Complexes Scheme with the state government.

It decided to fill up 10 posts of class IV employees in Panchayati Raj Department.

It gave its approval to transfer Gram Panchayat Kot from Police Station Shimla East (Chhota Shimla) to Police Station West (Boileauganj)  in district Shimla to facilitate the people.

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