Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that week-long famous International Kullu Dussehra would be celebrated with traditional fervour from 14-20 October this year. He was presiding over a meeting of the State-level Kullu Dussehra Organizing Committee, here today.

Virbhadra Singh directed to take necessary steps for highlighting the traditional customs and rich folk culture of the State during the festival. He said that ‘Rath Yatra’ of leading deity Lord Raghunath Ji on the inaugural day was the traditional affair and main attraction of the festival, which should be highlighted properly. He directed to explore that possibility of running commentary of the Rath Yatra on the analogy of ‘Rath Yatra’ of Jagannath Puri.

He said variety of cultural programmes depicting rich culture and folklore of State should be given more importance and efforts should be made to invite the best cultural troupes from different parts of the Country and abroad as well. He suggested that competitions based on folk dance and folk music instruments should also be organized in the day time along-with evening cultural programmes for the entertainment of the tourists and local people. He said that winners of these competitions should be suitable rewarded. He also directed for proper arrangements and providing best possible facilities and remuneration to the accomplice of Deities.

He said that fairs and festivals of State were playing a vital role in preserving and promoting traditions and cultural heritage. Kullu Dussehra was among one of the International Festival of the State like Shivratri fair of Mandi, Summer Festival of Shimla, Lavi of Rampur and Minjar of Chamba districts.

Virbhadra Singh said that matter has been taken up with Government of India for grant of Rs. 40 lakh for providing tent facilities to the deities and their accomplice during the festival. He said that sports events and an attractive exhibition depicting latest developments in various sectors would also be organized during the festival.

Chief Minister directed the concerned officers to make all necessary arrangements pertaining to their department to organize the Festival in a better way.

MLAs Maheshwar Singh, Karan Singh, Khub Ram and Gobind Ram gave their valuable suggestions. Principal Secretary Language, Art and Culture Upma Chaudhary informed that best cultural troupe from State, India and abroad would be invited to the Festival. She said that efforts were being made to organize famous Ramyan show of Ram Bhartiya Kala Kendra Delhi and North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC).

Chairman Kullu Dussehra Festival Committee and Deputy Commissioner Kullu Rakesh Kanwar detailed about the various activities to be held during the Festival.

Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy, Additional Chief Secretary P. Mittra, DGP Sanjay Kumar, Principal Secretary Finance Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Secretary GAD & Director Tourism Subhashish Panda, Advisor Planning Munish Garg, M.D., HP SEDC Ltd. J.S. Walia, M.D., HPSEBL P.C. Negi, Engineer-in-Chief I&PH R.K. Sharma, Engineer-in-Chief PWD Pardeep Chauhan, Director I&PR Rajinder Singh, Director Youth Services and Sports Kamal Sharma, Director Industries Mohan Chauhan, Director LAC D.K. Gupta, DHS Dr. Kulbhushan Sood, DGM HPTDC Vijay Sharma, Director Operation HPSEBL J.P. Kalta, DM Traffic HRTC H.K. Gupta were present amongst others.