Connect with us

City Lifestyle

New MOON Fest Shimla – Away from crowd and city noise, a New Year party in oak jungle




On the outskirts of the city, way past the solemn and traditional, amid oak jungle, this party is offering a perfect opportunity to enjoy BBQ and bonfire experience.

SHIMLA- It’s believed, the manner in which you welcome the New Year sets the precedent of how the forthcoming year will transpire. If that is so, then Shimla is among the best places to welcome the New Year.

Tourists are swarming to Shimla after the first snowfall of the season on Christmas. Every year, Shimla witness flood of visitors who arrive here to celebrate Christmas and and the New Year. This year is no different.  Hopes are high that it’ll snow on this New Year eve too.

Himachal Watcher has been receiving messages and mails asking suggestion for some happening parties, events, and venues to celebrate the New Year Eve in Shimla. Some of them wants to celebrate it without leaving comfort zone of the city, some wants to be amid crowd like at the the Shimla Ridge and the Mall, and tourists seek snow. Well,  the city is hardly unpredictable, but there is one suggestion for those who seek something new and thrilling like bonfire and BBQ with a scope for privacy and relief from noisy, crowded city.

We could hardly find anything that could stand apart from common arrangement and order of New Year celebrations. But there is a venue that is worth try, for both tourists and locals. It’s near to the city but still isolated enough to give you a break from routine.

The charming, mettled road leads to the venue

The charming, mettled road leads to the venue

On the outskirts of the city, way past the solemn and traditional, amid oak jungle, the New MOON Fest is offering a perfect opportunity to enjoy BBQ and bonfire experience.


Organizers preparing for the New Year Party

Well, the Fest isn’t entirely a silent zone. But we would say, there will be no noise for miles around it. It’s a party that will include live music, drinks, food, barbeque, bonfire, camping, and complimentary drinks.  

The serene oak forest setting with expansive view is a wonderful venue to bid adieu to a year and welcome the New One.


No Parking Wows

This one-of-its-kind forest New Year party is open for all age groups and gender. The entry starts at somewhere between 1,500- 2,000 for two long nights. The management has arranged camps for lodging, which should let you sleep under the starry sky.

The idea of the organizers is to cut the mundane and offer thrilling and actually rejuvenating party. Instead of indoor parties or discotheques, the venue is offering dancing in the open to live music, played by some of the finest artists both local and national.


The venue for the Jungle party is near Shoghi, roughly half an hour drive from Shimla (about 19km). The road to the jungle bifurcates at the Kaithlighat. The Drive from here is through a single lane, well-tarred road (about 4km). Half of the road length offers view of expansive fields on both sides, while remaining distance is shrouded by oak and dedodar trees.  The road journey is in itself a charm. After sunset, the road is engulfed by darkness that is broken only by beams of headlights. Exact details about the location and party are available on organizer’s event page including contacts, in case it interests you.

So, bang on the road, the venue is a delightful meadow amid an oak forest, far from inhabitation but very close to nature.


City Lifestyle

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



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.


Continue Reading

City Lifestyle

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



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.

Continue Reading

City Lifestyle

Himachal gets a ‘War Museum’ at Dharamsala as reminder of martyrs



dharamsala war museum

Dharamsala – The ‘War Museum’ at Dharamsala was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. He also laid the foundation stone of the Freedom Fighters Memorial at Dari.

The War Museum, he said was a reminder of the sacrifices of the valiant soldiers of Himachal Pradesh, right from recipients of Victoria Cross to Parmveer Chakra. The Museum would offer a flashback to learn more about the Nations first Param Vir Chakra recipient, the highest gallantry awardee, Major Somnath Sharma to late Captain Bikram Batra, Saurabh Kalia, and others who laid their lives for the sake of the Nation.

Recalling the Kargil war, he said that 54 brave soldiers from the soil of Himachal had laid their lives. These sacrifices will find mention in this War Museum.

The Museum is spread over a total area of 2190 square meters and built at a cost of Rs. 9.85 crores. Outside the Museum, the statue of General Zorawar Singh and murals of heroic deeds are on display.

The inner Hall houses busts of Vir Chakra awardees, Jamedar Bhandan Ram and Jamedar Lala small description of their legend on the wall against a golden background.

The busts of Param Vir and Vir Chakras include those of Major Somnath Sharma, Major Dhan Singh Thapa, Captain Vikram Batra, Major Sudhir Walia, Hony. Captain Sanjay Kumar.

The Museum also houses photo gallery of all PVC recipients of the country besides the medals of various gallantry award recipients including Victoria Cross, Ashok Chakra, Vir Chakra etc.

war museum himachal

Photo: Divya Himachal

There is also a 5×2 foot Ashoka Pillar beside a Pakistan captured flag, regimental flags, Medium Machine Guns etc.

The State government has requested the Government of India for MIG-21 and display of other warfare machinery, said representatives of ‘State Martyrs Memorial Service and Development Society’.

The inauguration of the Museum was timed with the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the quit India movement also known as ‘August Kranti’.

Continue Reading