Kullu: Setting up the backdrop for celebrating the upcoming Kullu Dussehra in October, the district administration has declared that the emphasis would be displaying local culture, handicrafts, dress and cuisine.
Disclosing plans about the preparations underway Rakesh Kanwar, the deputy commissioner of the district who is also the chairman of the international festival said, “to encourage participation of local people, this year again a grand ‘Nati’ (a famous Kullvi folk dance) would be organized, where we are targeting a participation of around 12,000 women. The Nati event would be named ‘Pride of Kullu’. Registration for this grand folk dance performance would start from August 16 and would be open upto September 15.”
The weeklong festival is scheduled to be held from October 22 to October 29.
He added, “a mega event of traditional orchestra would also be organised where traditional instrumental players, mainly associated with Kullu deities, (locally called bajantry – musicians) would be invited to participate.
Kanwar said that a fashion show for women wearing local attire would be another attractive event during the festival. “The winners would be picked after several rounds, with the final round to be held on last day of festival. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh would award the winners and winning teams a total cash prize of Rs 2.5 lakh.”
The festival committee has also decided to publish three books about Kullu’s culture, lifestyle and history.
The festival also intends to organize a raffle draw and has a target of collecting Rs 1 crore by way of Red Cross Society.
Dusshera is uniquely celebrated in Kullu, with the 7 day festivities beginning on the day the rest of the country marks the festival.
Village deities, where nearly every village in Kullu valley has its own deity, numbering more than 300 coming visiting Raghunathji, the presiding deity of Kullu Royal family, for Dusshera.
Holding of a mega ‘Nati’ where thousands of women in traditional dress came together to perform the chain dance was started last year.
With the count of participants for the dance crossing 10,000, the Kullu Nati held for 2014 Dusshera was entered as a World Record in the Limca Book of Records for largest number of folk dancers performing at one place.