Nanda Devi festival concludes with fanfare
The 116th edition of the Nanda Devi Festival concluded this week with worship of the goddess and other concluding rituals, including offering of Brahmkamal flower. The festival is an amalgamation of various traditions and rituals over centuries. The festival entails making of ‘Kadli’ portraits of Nanda and Sunanda Goddesses, offering of Brahmkamal which is also state flower of Uttarakhand, and a week-long fair with attractions such as cloth stalls and death well motorcycle and car stunts. Devotees trek to Namik-Hiramani glaciers situated at 7,000-15,000 ft to get the flower for the Goddesses.
Forest rest houses may be opened for public
The forest department is planning to open its 145 forest rest houses (FRHs) for nature lovers. Altogether, there are 250 FRHs with the forest department. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Jai Raj has written a letter to key officials of the department, stating that the aim is conservation through awareness and connecting with the people in all its efforts. Some of these FRHs are located at scenic locations away from the urban concrete jungle to provide the people opportunity to closely experience nature. Officials said that this initiative is under process and further development will take place only after planning. The hill state of Uttarakhand is blessed with large swathes of forests which are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.
Guv seeks reports on appointments
Governor Baby Rani Maurya has sought reports concerning appointments of associate professors in Uttarakhand Ayurveda University after reports alleging irregularities surfaced in the media. Four associate professors were appointed last year but they quit within six-seven months. The rules for recruitment state that in case of such vacancies, a candidate from the waiting list should be asked if s/he wants to join. There were allegations that the contender for the post of associate professor was ignored and, instead, others were recruited bypassing the rules.
Valley of Flowers sees record tourist arrivals
The world famous Valley of Flowers in Chamoli district has registered its maximum tourist footfall in last six years. The valley is open for tourists from June to October. This season till September 5, a total 15,508 tourists visited the alley out of which 460 were foreigners. In 2018, the total footfall was 14,742. The numbers for the subsequent years were 13,752 (2017), 6,503 (2016), 181 (2015) and 484 (2014). The valley was declared as world heritage in 2005 by UNESCO which houses over 500 species of flowers, plants and other plant species.
Our correspondent in Dehradun