The upper regions of Himachal Pradesh experienced cold wave conditions with the fresh snowfall. The icy winds brought down the mercury in the regions of Shimla and many other hill stations. The high altitude regions of the state recorded biting cold conditions with the mercury levels almost dipping to zero level, stated the MeT department.
Apart from Shimla, Kalpa in the Kinnaur also reeled a temperature of 0.6 degree, on the other hand, Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district experienced a low of 0.3 degree Celsius, further stated the MeT department. Also, the popular tourist destination of Manali recorded the temperature of 3.6 degrees that was followed by Bhuntar, which recorded a temperature of 7 degree Celsius.
Kodaikanal, also reckoned as the Princess of Hill station in India has been reported with a decrease the production of coffee beans owing to the drastic dwindling on the cultivation areas. Planters’ representatives from Kodaikanal informed that the coffee planters cultivate on small scale here, unlike to Coorg district where coffee plantations is done on a large scale.
According to the planters, the cultivation process is affected by the absence of coffee manufacturing manpower and factories, lack of promotion by the government and real estate. Palani Hills that forms the major part of Kodaikanal is divided into three segments; upper, middle and lower. Since 1970, coffee has been cultivated all across the hill leaving the upper part of Palani Hills.
8 years old Minoo Avari, also the president of Mya Palanimalai Farmers Association said that the coffee plantation in the area started when the banana variety produced throughout the hill was attacked by a disease. Another coffee planter, Shekar Nagarajan belonging to lower Palani Hills stated, “In a survey conducted by the government in the 1970s it was found that coffee was being grown on 14,000 acres of land. After that, no survey has been conducted.” He further said that around 7, 000 acres of land is being utilized for coffee plantation and even the total plantation of this hill station in India has also come down to half. As per Nagarajan, “Initially we produced around 7,000 tons a year, but this has now come down to 3,500 tonnes.”
Dharamsala, one of the popular hill stations of India is gearing up for the three-day Free Spirit Film Festival, which will be held here, stated the organizers of the event. Lobsang Wangyal, 42, the organizer of the fest said that, the three-day fest, ninth in series, will showcase 19 films from Bangladesh, Egypt, France, India, Ireland, Iran, Israel, Britain and the US.”
The Film festival will see directors from all parts of the world including Pema Dhondup from California with his movie “Arise”, Prashant Vanjani from Delhi with “Villari”, Sudeep Ranjan Sarkar from Kolkata with “Neti Neti” and Ninad Kulkarni from Pune with “Connection Failed”.
Wangyal told that Kulkarni, 16 is the youngest among all the directors participating in this film festival. He directed his first film revolving around the mass suicide of farmers in Maharashtra at the age of 12. And Dhondup`s “Arise” is based on the ongoing self-immolations in Tibet.
Wangyal who is also the director and producer of the renowned Miss Tibet pageant and Tibetan Music Awards informed that, “The festival is aimed at sharing beautiful stories, concerns, interests, and creativity.” He hopes that such kind of events will help the exiled community in grabbing the attention of the rest parts of the world to the cause of Tibet.
McLeodganj, the serene hill station in India has already got the attention of various Buddhist scholars, backpackers, Tibet enthusiasts as well as Hollywood stars like Richard Gere. Also renowned as Little Lhasa, McLeodganj is situated at a distance of just eight kilometers from Dharamsala, a popular hill station in India.