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Solar lights for all 17 Kalka-Shimla railway stations to save energy



Shimla Railway Station

SHIMLA- To save energy consumption, all 17 railway stations on the world heritage Kalka-Shimla rail track will soon have the solar lighting system.

Divisional Railways Manager, Ambala, Dinesh Kumar said the engineering staff was in the process of working out the modalities of introducing the solar lighting system at these 17 railway stations in a phased manner. He said its work would soon be started.

Though no separate budget has been made available for the initiative, funds will be spared from the available budget and the work will be started,

said Dinesh.

The solar power can also be used to light up coaches, helping in saving power and making all stations on the track green in the second phase. It will also help the Railways earn some carbon footprints for reducing the use of energy.

Some public sector companies like the Container Corporation of India are helping the Railways to bear the cost of introducing the solar energy-based system in its stations as part of their corporate social responsibility.

As it is a world heritage rail track, the railway authorities are compelled to retain the track’s ancient architecture, but transformations are not permissible. The introduction of the solar lighting system will help conserve energy consumption.

With the Ministry of Railways laying stress on making the railway stations energy efficient, officials are working out the nitty-gritty of adopting energy efficient technologies.

The stations to be covered under the initiative include Taksal, Ghumman, Koti, Sanwara, Dharampur, Kumarhatti, Barog, Solan, Salogra, Kandaghat, Kanoh, Kathleeghat, Shoghi, Taradevi, Jutogh, Summer Hill and Shimla.
The Ministry of Power is encouraging energy efficient railway stations by awarding them annually. The Allahabad city railway station had received the award in 2014.

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Amidst wild animals, without electricity, phone or clock, an old woman lives alone in Great Himalayan National Park





SHIMLA- Have you ever thought of living your entire life in wild, without electricity and electronics, and even a clock? How about the Great National Himalayan Park that is recognized by UNESCO for its incredibly rich bio-diversity? The 754 square kilometer National Park houses 31 mammal species including leopards, the Himalayan black and brown bear, and the ghost cat – snow leopards. There are over 300 bird species, reptiles, hundreds of insect species amid rich Himalayan flora and fauna.  It sounds more like a Hollywood adventure movie. Is it possible to live in such a harmony with nature?  

Indian woman Living in forest alone

Photo: GHNP

There is no habitation for miles as all natives were removed to a separate buffer –zone when the area was declared as a National Park. However, there was a woman, who refused to depart from the nature. She has been sharing the forest with wild animals for decades now. 

Woman lives in himalayan national park

Photo: IANS

So it’s not entirely true that there is no habitation inside the park. An 83-years-old lady, Chatri Devi, still lives in her clay-house, all alone.

Woman lives along in forestPhoto: Xerxespa
She doesn’t have electricity or a phone. She doesn’t even possess a clock and calculate time by following sun. This seclusion, complete isolation and wild animals do not scare her at all.

Leopards and black bears do come near to my house, even with their cubs, but they never attacked me as I am not their prey. Why should I be afraid of them? They go on their way (pointing towards a thick forest adjoining her house),

Chatri Devi says.

chatri devi GHNP

Clay House of Chatri Devi in GHNP/ Photo: Gaurav Chaudhary

It’s not that she doesn’t have a family or is bound to live here. Rather, she has a big family comprising of three married sons, their wives, and nine grandchildren, who live in a village outside the park. It takes about one and half hour walk uphill to reach her from their place.

Great Himalayan National Park

Photo: GHNP

The only reason for her to choose this life in the park is that she loves it as she has a strong emotional attachment to the house she had build with her husband decades ago and small-piece of farmland where the couple grew wheat, barely, potato, corn and rajmah. She is the only one person who refused to relocate when the the area was declared as the GHNP in 1999. 

chatri devi in great himalayan national park


Her death is the only way to separate her from the house, she said.

When asked if she ever gets bored, she replies,

These birds and animals are also part of my family. Every winter ‘jujuranas’ or western tragopans and gorals descend here. So I ejoy watching them.

These days, as she is very old now, one of the family members come to visit her everyday after taking that hours long uphill walk to ensure she is doing fine and returns by evening. 

She makes a remarkable example of complete harmony with nature and its creature, away from modernised and way far complex, stressful urban life. 

About The Himalayan National Park

Top Image: IANS

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India’s first Igloo hotel in Manali is the fresh tourist attraction in Himachal




Manali Igloo Stay 4

SHIMLA- Manali Igloo Stay is the fresh tourist attraction not only in Himachal Pradesh, but in entire India. First-of-its- kind, made entirely of snow, the Igloo houses are owned by Kelinga Himalyan Adventures, a winter-sports and travel company that offers ski courses and treks. The company, that comprises of local youth Tashi and Vikas, had been looking for good snowfall to give the concept a try.  It’s eco-friendly, as it used no non-biodegradable material (snow), there would be no waste after it’ll meltdown.

Himachal Igloo hotel

This year, it snowed heavy and temperature was also favorable to build Igloo houses at Sethan village, near Prini. Each structure is made of compressed snow and measures 8×9 foot in width and 6.5 feet in height. The Igloos were opened at the end of the January, 2017. 

The igloos are built by Tashi and Vikas with their friends.

When we discussed this concept with our friends, they were so excited that they spent hours with us and even helped us build them,

the duo told to an English daily.

Igloo hotel himachal

The visitors are provided with bedding, table and lights. Accommodation is available only on a twin-sharing basis as there are only two structures. For sleeping, the visitors are given warm feather sleeping bags and a hot water bottle.
Manali Igloo Stay 2

The temperature is chilling outside, but apparently inside is comparatively warmer. The Igloos can sure save visitors from cold winds outside. So, the idea is quite practical.

Igloo Manali

The company hopes that the Igloos will stand for another month before it begins to meltdown with change in season. The rates vary from 4,500 to 7,000 depending upon different packages.
Manali Igloo Stay 3

Igloos are mainly found in colder parts of the world like Switzerland, Canada, Finland etc. Definitely, it would be entirely a unique experience to find out what it feels to live in an Igaloo. No need to say, these Igloos would be available only in winters, hardly for a couple of months.

That’s not all; visitor can try to build their own Igloo houses at a height of about 9,000 feet, somewhere near Hampta pass.

This year, we have introduced two igloos on a trial basis and it has been successful. Lower areas of Manali, including the town, are warmer than Sethan. We plan to to get this concept registered with the tourism department so that they (officials) can also help us promote it, especially in rural areas,

they said.

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In Pictures: Shimla receives overdose of snowfall in 2017




Snowfall Pictures, Shimla Snowfall 2017, Shimla Ridge, Travel, Tourism, Landscape, Shimla Winters

SHIMLA– Like every year, tourists flooded Shimla in hope of snowfall and they received an overdose of it. Along with other parts of Himachal Pradesh, the capital city received heavy snowfall on January 6 and 7, 2017 that caused uprooting of several trees that damaged overhead electricity wires due to which almost entire capital plunged into a weeklong darkness. The capital suffered water-shortage, too, as pumping stations stopped working. The daily life was hit as hundreds of roads were blocked.


Photo: Tarun Sharma/ Himachal Watcher

Still, the hospitality industry made most of it as tourists were stuck for days. But other than inconvenience, snowfall brought smiles on the faces of tourists. The hills, deodar trees, roofs, and vehicles, everything was covered with a thick sheet of snowfall. Himachal Watcher captured a few photographs and talked to the tourist about their experience which we would like to share with our readers.

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Photo: Tarun Sharma/ Himachal Watcher

Himachal along with its capital also witnessed another, mild spell of snowfall on January 16, 2017 and some the posted pictures include some glimpses of the second snowfall as well. We hope that those who missed the snowfall would find some solace in these pictures and videos.


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All Photos Copy Right: Tarun Sharma/ Himachal Watcher

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