Himachal hit by temple tragedy, drop in tourism | india | Hindustan Times
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Himachal hit by temple tragedy, drop in tourism

india Updated: Dec 31, 2008 09:59 IST

Tragedy unfolded with 147 people dying in a temple stampede in Himachal Pradesh which witnessed some tense moments this year due to spirited protests by Tibetan exiles.

The state which saw a drop in tourist arrivals did get a high with UNESCO recognising the century-old Kalka-Shimla railway track.

With an eye on the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the BJP government led by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal toiled throughout the year to maintain a hold on its electoral base, doling out sops.

The state was hit by one of the worst tragedies in recent times when a stampede at Nainadevi temple in Bilaspur district resulted in death of 147 people on August 5.

A rumour regarding landslide in Nainadhar mountain triggered the tragedy resulting in death of devotees mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

The state, having headquarters of Tibetan government in exile at Dharamshala, saw heightened security as Tibetan exiles organised marches to Tibet where riots had erupted in March. Hundreds of Tibetan protestors were arrested in Kangra, Una and Sirmaur districts during the agitation.

Additional security arrangements were made when hundreds of prominent exiled gathered for a five-day crucial conclave in Dharamshala in November.