Want to have a feel of tribal life, culture, cuisine and joyous stay in a tribal home? Come and visit the Sangla valley in Kinnaur district in Himachal next week.
The three-day third Sangla Valley Household Tourism Festival from May 21 is a promotional drive to invite the tourists to this beautiful valley, which is opening up to home tourism in a big way. The initiative is of Sangla Valley Development Cooperative Society, Himalayan Research Group, Shimla and CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur.
``We are trying to build it up every year by putting in creative inputs, that can promote household tourism in a way that the tribals prepare to sell services, not products,’’ said Dr.Tejpratap Singh, Vice Chancellor of Palampur varsity and Dr. Lal Singh of Himalayan Resource Group.
At the festival, dishes prepared from locally grown crops and spices would be served to guests. The tourists can relish dishes prepared from buckwheat, barley and apricots. Moreover, these would be served in traditional utensils.
The stalls for the sale of local handicrafts, handloom, organic fresh fruits, dry fruits, pulses, buckwheat and medicinal plants would be set up by the local farmers, artisans and traders. The wood-carving artisans of the Sangla valley would display special souvenirs for display and sale.
The organizers have made an arrangement of a local band group to entertain both the tourists and the locals.
“More than 50 home-stay units have got registered with the Tourism department in Sangla valley alone. The area is emerging as a hub for household and agro-tourism,” the organizers said.
Said Dr Tejpratap Singh, who had floated the idea of this festival in Sangla valley, ``We are still learning.
In the first two festivals, we were able to generate thought process and attitudinal change in the local people. We created awareness and motivated a large number of people to open up for. Most of the home-stay units have been opened from Karcham to Chitkul. We want that the locals should earn by engaging the tourists in little little things, including plucking of fruits, vegetables and cooking on their own, which the tourists may not find elsewhere.”
He said a seminar on issues and techniques for the development of the home-stay scheme in Sangla would also be organized by the university during the festival.
He said the festival would also provide a window for the people to understand the new technologies in the cultivation of button mushroom and other high-value medicinal plants, which the district has a good potential.
Governor Urmila Singh will inaugurate the festival on May 21 at 2.30 pm.