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Miss India 2017 Himachal auditions and top 3 contestants – In Pictures




SHIMLA– On March 12, aspiring models from hill state Himachal Pradesh gathered in Shimla town to appear in auditions for the Miss India 2017. The talent hunt for the 54th editions of the Miss India is underway in North Zone along with all 29 states. The auditions were conducted at the Radisson Hotel near Bharari where about 80 contestants appeared from various parts of the State to contest for top three positions. These three contestants will also represent Himachal in the Miss

India 2017 -India’s prestigious and glamorous beauty pageant. The auditions that were conducted by Dr. Pooja Negi, former Mrs.India 1st runner up, continued all day until top three contestants were selected. Shikha Sood, Santoshi Ranaut, and Ankita Dogra won the top three positions and Golden Tickets to the North Zonal crowning ceremony to be held in Delhi on April 16. 


All top contestants from every Zone will go through rigorous training before contesting in the grand finale of the Miss India 2017 to be held in June.

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Himachal Watcher talked to the top three contestants, who were very excited.  HW extended its wishes for their selection to the crowning ceremony with a hope to see this year’s Miss India from Himachal.

judge-Pooja-Negi-Rajta-at-the-fbb-Colors-Femina-Miss-India-auditions-at-Radisson-hotel-7The judge, Dr. Negi hails from Taklech village of Rampur Tehsil in district Shimla. Currently she is serving in the department of physiology at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla.

As per the organizers, the format for auditions has been changed for this year’s event. The teams are touring all 29 states to hunt for the best. This time, contestants from each zone will be provided mentors to guide them to perform better. For North Zone, Neha Dhupia, former Miss India and Bollywood actress, will mentor the top contestants.


The crowing ceremony of the North Zone contestants will be held at the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel on April 16. Most deserving candidate from each of the 8 states i.e. Miss India Delhi, Miss India Haryana, Miss India Himachal Pradesh, Miss India Jammu and Kashmir, Miss India Madhya Pradesh, Miss India Punjab, Miss India Uttar Pradesh and Miss India Uttarakhand will represent their state at the grand finale which is going to be held in Mumbai in June.

Miss-India-2017-Himachal-auditions-in-Shimla-3Shikka Sood belongs to Baddi region of district Solan. She did her schooling from D.P.S., Indore and went to Indra Prastha College for Women, Delhi University.

Miss-India-2017-Himachal-auditions-in-Shimla-2jpgSantoshi Ranaut belongs to Hamirpur, did her schooling from Kendirya Vidyalaya, Hamirpur, and completed her college and PG from Degree College Hamirpur.

Miss-India-2017-Himachal-auditions-in-Shimla-16Ankita Dogra hails from Narkanda region of capital Shimla. She did her schooling from Monal Public School, Shimla and completed her MJMC from Himachal Pradesh University.

The Color television channel  and ffb, one of India’s leading fashion brands, have partnered for this year’s event. Also, Jio, the digital content partner, will offer live streaming of fbb Colors Femina Miss India North 2017 on Jio TV.










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All Photos Copyright: Tarun Sharma/HW and Dheeman Gaud

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.


City Lifestyle

HPTDC’s Online Service for Ordering Food for Takeaway and Home Delivery Launched



HPTDC Online Food Order Service

Shimla-An online facility to place orders of food was launched by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation on July 21, 2020. It was informed by the HPTDC, Managing Director Kumud Singh. She said the Corporation has introduced a facility to place an online order of food for takeaway and home delivery at its selected properties.

“The public can place orders for a variety of tasty, hygienic and healthy cuisines at their homes by placing online orders,”

she said.

Consumers can place online food orders at these properties by visiting its website ( Currently, the orders can be placed from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The HPTDC staff has been imparted special training to take all necessary steps for prevention of COVID-19, she said. The food is prepared by trained Chefs of the Corporation in safe and hygiene environment, she added.

She informed that this service has initially been started at Hotel Peterhof Shimla, Goofa Ashiana Restaurant Shimla, Hotel Kunzam Manali, Cafe Monal Kullu, Cafe Raviview Chamba and Cafe Satluj Rampur. She said that this service will be extended to other properties in a phased manner.

Photo: Himachal Watcher

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Fursat Se- Shimla Based Cultural Community to Plant 550 Trees on 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji



Shimla-On the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, Fursat Se, a cultural community based in Shimla plans to plant 550 trees. The founder of Fursat Se, Amrita Bhasin, is working towards creating safe spaces for promotion of art, literature and open dialogue through the medium of events.

“We invite 550 people (&more) to pledge and plant one tree each and help us initiate a Green Movement by the people and for the people,”

She said.

Anyone interested in this, can pick a local tree sapling and plant it in allowed areas of the neighborhood and pledge to take care of it, and send the information on the same with a picture and hashtag #TreeTalesIndia to Fursat Se. For pledging, volunteering and becoming a part of this initiative you can contact them, and Fursat Se will share the pictures from their social media handles.

The initiative is organized by Fursat Se- A Cultural Community in association with- Swach Himalayas, a Himachal based NGO started by Savitoj Singh, that works towards spreading awareness about various environmental issues, undertakes initiatives like regular visits to old-age homes, orphanages through numerous community driven events and Unbox Himachal valley- a Himachal based start-up by Shivee Sirmauri, working towards empowerment of rural women by providing employment opportunities and reviving old cultural handicrafts.

Fursat Se- 550 trees plantation

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Himachal’s fitness enthusiast shines at Indian TV Reality Show




Himachal's Fitness enthusiast sachin sharma of Shimla

Shimla: Sachin Sharma, a handsome man of 26, is currently a person who stands in contrast to Himachal Pradesh’s ill-famed youth struggling with drug and substance abuse – a crucial issue that has sounded an alarm in the State. Sachin is the one who joined a gym at the age of 19 – an age at which teenagers are struggling to escape from the jaws of drug/substance abuse, especially Heroin (Chitta).

Sachin, born in a middle-class family of Deha village, Theog, Shimla district, recently appeared in what could be called India’s first fitness reality show “Indian Fitness League.” It wasn’t a bodybuilding show, but the challenge was to undertake tasks designed to check who is the fittest. Sachin was the only one from Himachal to have made through the auditions. He was selected as one of the 40 fittest people of India. He earned the special attention of the hosts of the show as well as among other competitors.

The next episode of the TV show would be telecasted on October 6 on Discovery Sports at 4 PM.

To know more about him, Himachal Watcher interviewed him (Watch Video). We found that his story is inspirational in its own way:

Far from ill and unhealthy habits, he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink or take anything that would toy with his physical and mental fitness. He definitely doesn’t take steroids. Since last seven years, he has followed a strict discipline in diet and habits. He didn’t compromise with his studies either. He completed his schooling from Dayanand Public School in Shimla.

In 2018 he completed his post graduation in Masters of Business (MBA) from Himachal Pradesh University and had procured a placement for himself too.

He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth so placement did matter for him. His father Mohan Lal Sharma and mother Subhadra Sharma are both serving with the Crime Investigation Department (CID), HP, as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and Head Constable respectively. It wasn’t easy to manage an additional expenditure of Rs. 15,000 – 20, 000 on his protein diet for seven years.

At this point, his decision-making ability was put to test. He had to choose one of the two: job placement and passion for fitness. He listened to himself and decided to seek a career in the fitness industry.

Though Sachin’s body is in good shape, he isn’t actually a bodybuilder. He is a fitness enthusiast, who has trained without a professional trainer or a mentor. He made ample use of YouTube to learn. He didn’t take up fitness as his passion because he was inspired by someone. He was his own inspiration.

He first received an opportunity to get on a stage at annual Mr. Himachal competition. Later he won the Maruti Suzuki Devils Circuit held in Chandigarh.

Now, after his tremendous performance at the IFL, Sachin has received sponsorships and was inducted in the TG Athlete group. Opportunities in the fitness industry have begun to appear before him. He believes that someday, he would extend support and guidance to other fitness enthusiasts of the state, which he could hardly receive for himself.

He is an idol for the youth of Himachal, especially because fitness is an antonym to drug/substance abuse and indiscipline. In the majority of cases filed under the Narcotics, Drugs & Psychoactive Substances (ND&PS) Act, the accused are reported to be between 20-25 years. A couple of days back Shimla Police arrested a 22-years-old local boy with a packet of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) stamps. 

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