By: ML Verma
Shimla: The 3rd Sangla Valley Household Tourism Festival, based on home stays in around 50 rural houses is the panoramic Kinnaur valley offering tribal culture, cuisines, handicraft and interface of experts and local people, would be organized from May 21 to 23. Conceptualized by Chaudhary Sharawan Kumar HP Agriculture University, Palampur, with help from a Switzerland based NGO, and sponsored by the department of tourism and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, the festival will aim at promoting local farm produces and cuisines amidst the rural environ.
Disclosing this here today, Dr Tej Partap, vice-chancellor of CSK agriculture university said that the festival would be able to generate an attitudinal change in the people that tourism in Sangla Valley could also be run thought existing living houses, local food, human resource and linking it to locally available agriculture produces and practices as an independent enterprises. He said local people were encouraged to register themselves under the homestay scheme of the tourism department and about 50 such households came forward in Sangla valley alone from Karcham to last border village Chitkul creating a total strength of about 150 rooms, which constitutes about 20 per cent of the total household registered after launching of the scheme.
The VC also disclosed that local youths and women from the valley were also trained at Home Science College, Palampur, in hospitality and home-stay activities. During the festival, a specialized workshop is also being organized on ‘Issues of Techniques in Development of Household Enterprise through Home Stays’ in Sangla Valley.’ “The festival also provided a platform for the people to understand new technologies like button mushroom cultivation and high value medicinal cultivation through demonstration by Dr. Lal Singh of Himalayan Research Group, Shimla,” the VC added. Besides, Dr Singh was also instrumental in collating scientific information on nutritional and medicinal benefits of traditional crops like Buckwheat (Oghla, Phaphra) and wild apricot (Chuli) to the awareness of general public, which is becoming a tool for the revival and consumption of these important crops.
Sangla food Festival
“This year the festival would also serve traditional dishes of other areas of Himachal in addition to typical Kinnauri cuisine. Stalls for display and sale of handicraft, handloom, organic fresh fruits, dry fruits, pulses, buckwheat, apricot oil, medicinal plants agriculture tools etc. will be set up by local farmers, artisans and traders,” said Vidya Karan Negi, chairman of Sangla Valley Sustainable Development Society, that has been instrumental in making the project a success story.