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Shimla Ice Bar Lounge – One-of-its-kind bar in Himachal constructed entirely of ice

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SHIMLA- After the Johnnie’s Wax Museum, Shimla has another cool attraction for tourists in the ICE BAR LOUNGE opened at the Pine View Hotel, Kaithu. The bar lounge constructed entirely of ice is a minus 15-degree igloo worth enjoying a glass or two of refreshing alcohol.

Himachal Watcher had an opportunity to visit this one-of-its-kind bar in Shimla and the experience was astounding.

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The Ice Bar Lounge (first ice bar north of Delhi) is in the premises of Pine View Hotel. Post arriving at the hotel’s reception, we were graciously led to the Ice Bar by the hospitable staff members on behest of Mr Yatish Sood, owner of the property.

The Ice Bar Lounge, Yatish tells HW is an interpretation of an ice bar he had visited with his wife in Barcelona.

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The lounge has a minimalist entrance – taking a small flight of stairs you are led straight into a room lit with mood enhancing lights, which is suppose to be the acclimatizing room.

With pebbles on the floor, and a few tables laid out, the room reveals nothing of what you are going to witness in the adjoining room.

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Everything until here is free of cost. The entry into the ice bar lounge is however reserved at Rs 750 per head for 30 minutes. At the reception here, you make the payment and you will be provided with a special Quechua Jacket and led to the door – you still cannot guess what’s behind this closed door.

There it opens and gushing breeze of chill hits the head. Now, you began to realize there is something different in there.

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Eyes gaping, chill seeping into the bones and there you are in a 800 sq m. room of ice. A bar with seating capacity of 15-20 persons has everything just so perfectly placed for amplified ambiance.

The walls are made of ice (floor is pebbled and ceiling is of normal sheets), the counter made of ice, the pillar in the room covered with ice, the tables and chairs and couches everything made with ice. There is so much ice you wonder how on earth is it so perfect!

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And just when everything was sinking in with the color changing lights enhancing the mood, we were reminded we had to get over the aura and understand how the ice is kept intact.

We were informed that the lounge is kept dry and room temperature is maintained between minus 5 to minus 15-degree Celsius using a room cooling insulator – and then the eyes went to the only turn down in the room, the air conditioning vents that are placed visibly in one corner of the ceiling.

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We had been in there for about 15 odd minutes now – the fingers had begun to freeze and the face could feel the chill. While the torso was well protected in the Quechua jacket, we could feel the knees numbing inside the denims. There was chill in the air, but it was a perfect setting and we were enjoying every minute of our time in there.

Yatish informed, the large blocks of ice for construction have been sourced from Ludhiana, but all the carving and designing has been done on site by Him Chatterjee, head of department of fine arts, Himachal Pradesh University.

The ice bar is a result of 15 months of persistent hard work and dedication and the result is a place worth every buck you spend.

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The bar has been operational for about two weeks, but is only serving mocktails and snacks for now. Yatish has applied for a license and the bar should start soon.

After 25 odd minutes inside the ice bar, capturing every possible detail, we were out – bones felt chilly, lenses on the camera and eyeglasses fogged – this was when we realized the importance of the acclimatizing room.

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We were asked not to take off the jackets they had provided, immediately. Waiting in the room (acclimatizing) we clicked a few shots of the room and a couple of pictures of the temporary staff off the ice bar. Then took off the jackets after 10 odd minutes and bid adieu to the ice bar lounge.

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Bharat writes about latest gadgets, toys, robots and new technologies across various platforms. In addition to reporting and reviewing new products and technologies, he spends too much time digging the internet for endless questions. He's a die-hard football fan and a big foodie who wants to host Man v. Food some day.

City Lifestyle

A small initiative by bunch of creative people making a difference

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Healing Himalayas rainshelter art

Shimla: Shimla – a name that leaves many hearts pounding, many wandering souls want to travel to this place, is well on its way of losing its charm. Every hilltop blotted with concrete houses, every slope shrouded under littered waste, every corner of the town chocked to death by oil-guzzling machines – this is the new picture of our town that was once famous for being ‘Queen of the Hill.’

Visual pollution mostly remained unchecked, and the majority of the public properties like rain-shelters have become free advertisement boards. 

To whatever direction you throw an eye, all you see is the tainted landscape. A hazy skyline hidden behind a cloud of dust and pollution ruins the vista. If you ask who is responsible for creating this mess – the only sound that echoes in the mountains is bad governance.

However, holding the governance alone responsible would be wrong. The people of the town are equally responsible for turning our town, which once used to be a beautiful hill station covered in deodar forests, into a wretch place. The landscape turns gloomier when you discover more about how our once-a-beautiful town looks on the inside.

Rain-Shelter at the BCS in Shimla City before Revamping

No matter how gloomy the landscape of our town turns, there are always people with positive spirits who refuse to give up. This group of creative people, under the name of a Non-profit organization Healing Himalayas – in association with some local artists and volunteers, is a good example of how to work in the right direction and set things right.

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Before revamping

They are striving hard to bring back the lost glory of the hill queen by making small efforts like conducting cleaning drives across Shimla and inspiring people to not litter.

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Removing posters/pamphletsa

This doesn’t stop here. They are taking steps to beautify the town by giving bus stops or rains shelters a revamped look. Almost all bus stops are in a really bad state.

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Cleaning the rain shelter

I am not very sure if they serve the purpose of providing shelter to the public on a rainy or sunny day, but they are a free and open playground for advertisers. Every local company, business, institutions especially coaching academies come and use interior as well as exterior walls of rain shelters to advertise their services and offers.

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Painting after cleaning

In an effort to spread awareness on how to use public properties/places, the NGO takes to the streets of BSC, New Shimla on Sunday, May 20, 2018, and started peeling off posters and banners that stained the walls of the shelter beyond repair.

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The team which included about 25 artists and volunteers took over the shelter at around 7:00 am and removed all posters and banners from the wall.

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The poster removal drill that lasted for about four hours was followed by applying multiple quotes of primer and whitewash. That’s not it; to turn the once-an-ugly-looking shelter into a work of art, the enthusiasts covered the walls in beautiful artwork.

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An inspiring initiative by a bunch of creative people turned gloomy walls of the shelter into a life-size canvas where beautiful forms and figures started taking shapes. In the tireless process, the rain shelter was a changed place that looked no less than an art gallery.

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Inspiring art depicting endangered mother earth instils an element of emotion in the concrete walls. Blooming flowers, guitar, beautiful landscapes, and ‘Ardhanarishvara’ with moon arch as his head ornament turn the walls into a multicoloured art.

After cleaning and painting

From blending colours to make a perfect hue to making the right brush strokes took them about 8 hours to complete the paint job. And, the final output, which reflects their (the team) artistic approach towards a mundane life, deserves your attention. See for yourself.
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By Yash Sharma, Shimla

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Self-taught local artist to exhibit ’17 Paintings’ oil painting works at Gaiety, Shimla

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Shimla: For the art lovers and critics in Himachal Pradesh, a self-taught local artist will showcase his collection of oil paintings titled “17 Paintings” on a two-days exhibition at the historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla on December 9 and 10 from 11.00 AM to 6.00 PM.

Surya Ranjan Shandil (31), who hails from Solan district, works in Bengaluru as a computer programmer in the field of education technology. After his schooling from Shimla, he obtained a B.Tech Degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Himachal's cutlural paintings

Courtesy: Surya Ranjan Shandil

However, he did not ignore his love for the painting and continued it at evenings after college, work, on weekends, and Sundays.

Later, Ranjan realized he has a collection of his own. His first solo exhibition was held in November 2016 at the Gaiety Theater.

The appreciation he received at the first exhibition encouraged him to present his second collection of oil paintings that he painted during 2017.

He received his education upto Class 12 from Shimla’s St. Edwards and Dayanand Public School.

He is best known for his captivating genre paintings.

I started drawing at the age of 3-4 years. At that time, I used to sign the drawings with incorrect spellings of my name,

Ranjan told Himachal Watcher

His father, Dr R G Shandil, who is now retired, was a professor of mathematics at the H.P. University, Shimla. His mother Dr. Sandhya Shandil was a teacher at the St. Edward’s School, Shimla.

After graduating in 2010, I started with oil painting during the evenings and weekends. Gradually I built up a collection and in November 2016, I held my first solo exhibition of 29 oil paintings at gaiety,

he said.

local himachali painting artist

Ranjan’s paintings reflect people. The upcoming exhibition opens with simple themes like the joy of shopping, local festivities, celebration, dance and music. Most works painted on these themes are in the context of Himachal.

Surya Ranjan Shandil

Following these are mellow paintings ‘Seaside Nap’ and ‘Personal Sunrise’ – more subtle takes on human thought. The artist also takes a step towards satire in comically interesting works ‘Monkeys’ and ‘Chimpanzees’.

Slowly moving towards expressionism ‘Kayal’ takes the viewer to the realm of subjectless painting while in ‘Frenzy’ the artist dispenses with form.

Ending on a light hearted note, the paintings ‘Bonfire’ and ‘A Silent Conversation’ recreate the magic of Gabbar Singh and Rajesh Khanna on canvas.

About his love for painting, he said,

I believe art is a journey of constant improvisation.  

It would be his second solo exhibition. Earlier, he has participated and won prizes in several painting competitions throughout his schooling and B.Tech.

 

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City Lifestyle

Bollywood film-maker Onir conducting auditions in Shimla for his next film

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Teenage Shimla girl actors

Shimla: Shimla-based production house ‘Secret Corridor Pictures’, run by award-winning filmmaker Siddharth Chauhan, is looking for new faces for Onir’s upcoming film “Kuch Bheege Alfaaz”. The film will be shot in Shimla.

Onir is a National award-winning director and producer. He needs a young girl in the age group of 14-18 from Shimla to cast in his film.

Onir has directed films like: My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal, Sorry Bhai, I AM, and Shab. His ‘Chauranga’ had won him multiple awards last year.

The Secret Corridor is looking after the casting & production process for this film. The production house is currently scrutinizing applications and organizing auditions.

In the first round of the auditions was conducted online and five finalists were selected out of over 50 applicants. These five candidates were invited for an interview with Onir on October 8, 2017.

The production house is also looking for actors in all age groups for other projects.

Onir’s films are known for the unique content that works as a trailblazer for the Indian film industry.

He is the man behind ‘My Brother Nikhil’ – the first Bollywood film that addressed the sensitive topic of homosexuality and AIDS.

His other film ‘I AM’ had won him the prestigious National Award & many other awards at various international film festivals.

The interested candidates can apply for auditions alongwith their pictures and other details. The candidates can either apply through e-mail at [email protected]” or through Facebook.

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