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Kullu Holi begins with recovered Lord Raghunath idol installation

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Himachali Gods

SHIMLA- The stolen idol of Lord Raghunath, a highly revered idol dedicated to Lord Rama, was recovered and reinstalled at Raghunath Temple here on Saturday amid much fervour.

In a major breakthrough, the police on Friday recovered the idols — including that of the chief deity — stolen from the Lord Raghunath temple in Kullu on December 8 last year. The breakthrough came with the arrest of the main accused in the case Nar Prasad (28) in Nepal by a special investigation team. Prasad’s image had been captured by the lone CCTV camera at the temple. After he spilled the beans, the Kullu police swung into action and recovered the idols.

stolen kullu temple idols Photo: Kumar Shah

The robbers entered the temple from the roof and took away the idols of Lord Raghunath and Hanuman, both made of ‘ashtadhatu’ (a composite of eight metals), a stone statue of Narsingh Shila (covered with gold), one silver Ganesh idol and a pair of Charan Paduka, besides ornaments.

Additional Director General Sanjay Kundu told reporters that the stolen idols were recovered on the basis of clues provided by a suspect, who has been detained in Nepal.

Kullu Police

The idol has been recovered less than 24 hours before the onset of 40-day Holi festival.

Thousands of devotees gathered at the Lord Raghunath temple in Sultanpur here, about 200 km from the state capital, to apply ‘gulal’ or colours to Lord Raghunath, the chief deity of Kullu Valley.

Kullu Holi is a festival with a difference.

Raghunath Temple Idol Click On Image To Enlarge

A century-old festival begins every year on Basant Panchami and concludes when the festivities end in the rest of the country.

This year, Holi falls on March 6.

“The idol of Lord Raghunath was installed in the temple after purification,” said Maheshwar Singh, the chief gurdian of Raghunath idol.

After the installation ceremony, thousands of devotees pulled the sacred rath (chariot) of Lord Raghunath amid beating of drums and playing of ‘shehnais’. The devotees threw ‘gulaal’ at each other.

stolen himachal temple idolsPhoto: Kumar Shah

Locals say starting from Basant Panchami, the idol of Lord Raghunath will be bathed with colours till March 6.

The festival dates back to the 17th century when Raja Jagat Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Kullu, obtained the Lord Raghunath idol from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and built the temple.

Since then, the people are gathering at the temple to apply colours to Lord Raghunath and celebrate Holi for 40 days.

The unique Kullu Dussehra, a century-old festival, is also associated with Lord Raghunath. ~ The Tribune

Environment

Total 332 Bird Species Located in Himachal Pradesh

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Bird Species Count in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-As per the Great Backyard Bird Count (7th Indian edition), the number of bird species in Himachal Pradesh was 332 in 2018, a spokesman of State Forest Department informed on February 21, 2019.  

PCCF (WL) Dr. Savita said that among the Indian States, Himachal Pradesh shared the topmost position with Uttrakhand where the highest number of species was recorded.  

Birding locations included wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, conservation reserves, villages and urban areas. He said that more than 150 bird species were recorded in Mandi, Shimla, Kangra and Sirmaur districts.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science initiative intended to encourage both amateur and professional bird-watchers to contribute towards the understanding bird and their biology in a better way.

The Department said that amateur birders from across the state contributed in the count in addition to 287 checklists that were uploaded into e-Bird by 55 participants.

 Participation in the event involved a minimum of 15 minutes bird watching during which all the bird species seen were counted and listed.  It involved bird watching sessions with school teachers and students, birding involving local villagers and panchayat representatives and training of frontline staff of the forest department in bird identification.

The Department said a detailed report is in preparation and will be circulated by the first week of March

This initiative was coordinated by Joint Secretary (Forests) Sat Pal Dhiman, Chief Conservator Forest (HQR) Nagesh Guleria, Chief Conservator Forest (WL) South Sushil Kapta, DFO (Hqr) N.P.S. Dhaulta along with other senior officers of the department.

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Campus Watch

Foundation Stone of HP Central University in Kangra laid, Will Be Ready in 3 Years, Says Govt

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HP Central University In Dehra, Kangra district

Kangra-The foundation stone of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh at Dehra in Kangra district was laid today by the Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

Prakash Javadekar said that the forest clearance for construction of this University was also accorded when he was the Union Forest and Environment Minister. The State Government deposited Rs 6 crore under CAMP Act for forest clearance.

As per the official information released, the Central University will have two campuses at two different locations. The first Campus would be at Jadrangal near Dharamshala, which would be spread in an area of 750 hectares. The second campus would be established at Dehra in an area of 287 hectares.

The Government said about Rs.1300 crore would be spent on construction of both these campuses and the same would be completed in the next three year, the government said. These campuses would be spread in an area of about 1000 hectare, making it one of the biggest University of the region.

The Government said that an amount of Rs.7044 crore was being spent on the education sector during the current financial year and a provision of Rs.7600 crore had been made for the next financial year.

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Misc News/Press Release

5MW Solar Power Plant in Bilaspur’s Naina Devi Ji Inaugurated

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Solar Power Plant in Naina Devi In Bilaspur district - himachal pradesh

Shimla-The 5MW Berry Dol Solar Power Plant constructed near Shri Naina Devi Ji Shrine in Bilaspur district was inaugurated today. The HP Power Corporation Ltd. claimed it spent Rs. 36.24 crore on this project.

As per the official information released by the State Government, this power project is synchronised with Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) Ltd 33/11 KV network Kot.

The power generated was being sold to HPSEB. T

This power project is expected to generate 101-lakh unit electricity per annum, earning revenue of Rs. 4.40 crore to the State exchequer.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, MPP and Power Minister Anil Sharma, MLA Jhanduta  J.R.Katwal , IG Himanshu Mishra, Deputy Commissioner Bilaspur Vivek Bhatia, CO IRB Gaurav Singh were present on the occasion.

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