Half of famous Himachal village gutted
At least half the houses in Malana, the oldest village in the Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh, were burnt down in a fire on Saturday.india Updated: Jan 05, 2008 20:13 IST
At least half the houses in Malana, the oldest village in the Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh, were burnt down in a fire on Saturday, though there was no loss of life, police said.
Around 150 houses including six temples, made mostly of pinewood, were reduced to ashes by the blaze, affecting around 150 families.
The fire started in the morning and the highly inflammable wooden logs and stored dry grass caught the blaze thanks to strong winds.
A police party joined villagers in dousing the flames as light snow began to fall in the afternoon.
The flames were brought under control by Saturday evening and 150-odd houses had escaped the blaze, officials said in Shimla.
Malana, an isolated village amid high mountains some 350 km from the state capital here, is situated at around 9,000 ft above the sea level and has no motorable approach road. The nearest motorable road is six kilometres away.
Due to the beauty of the surroundings and its traditional architecture, the village has been very popular with tourists, especially from abroad. It is also home to Jamlu, the oldest deity of the Kullu valley, whose temple was destroyed in the blaze.
"The isolation of the village is affecting relief measures. Blankets, quilts and tents, besides food, medicine and Rs 10,000 in cash have been distributed to each affected family," said Abhishek Jain, Kullu district magistrate.
Most of the affected people have moved into their neighbours' homes.
"The exact cause of the accident and estimated loss are being ascertained," Jain said.