Tag Archives: Himachal Pradesh

Location of Happiness

By Shivani Rastogi

“Creating clouds in the bottle is lesson what we have learnt in many science classes but what about catching clouds and sealing them… Have you ever tried it? “

Twelve crazy people (and that’s my awesome big funny family) packed in a traveler, started their journey away from cacophony lifestyle to celebrate mental peace and harmony. The trinity fell in right place – perfect location, apt timings and camaraderie of ‘desperate- to – be- happy’ people.

Excuses of irritation are many and to defeat them with the reasons of happiness are very limited. When life has unchanging, recurring events then surrounding becomes dull and depressing. Timely interruption with getaways can only rejuvenate fragile and diseased lifestyle.

DSCN0196We swarm of twelve crazy people had our own reasons to elope from super boring routine. On board included living beings saturated with cumbersome lifestyle and were routinely dragging baggage of redundancy.

Uninterrupted drive from Meerut to Khajret (Kasauli) reflected our intensity of yearning to leave city and disappear. But after long tedious journey, with sore bumps and swollen feet, we were delighted to discover ‘Sukhmani’, the beautiful cottage installed on one of the lush green mountain of Khajret.

IMG_2361Mornings were retreat in the sky and evenings end amidst smoky mountains. Breathtaking scenic view during treks or sound sleep on comfy beds was beyond words…. it was ineffable. There, we didn’t mind to accompany stalwart mountains in our balcony or talkative cold breeze when out for a stride. Nights held under a spell like marijuana, countless twinkling stars unveiled from a blanket of dark clouds. Meditating in silence and solitude was overjoyed, fresh air was gushing in arteries with each breathe. This place is perfect location to rejuvenate oneself in the laps of Mother Nature.

Rejuvenate yourself at Sukhmani Niwas

Located – Village Khajret, P.O. Jubbar, Tehsil Kasauli, Distt Solan. Himachal Pradesh , India

Website – http://sukhmanikasauli.com/

Uttarakhand Floods: Nature’s Fury or Have We Dug Our Own Graves? – Part V

In the fifth part of the series, Chandan Das explores the farce behind the flood control measures, which eventually led to this large scale disaster!

That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind. – William Wordsworth



The National Flood Control Programme was launched in 1954. After the 1970s – a decade that saw the worst floods – this spending gradually declined to a low of 5.5 percent in the decade between 2000-2010.The rupees not spent on flood control have meant gigantic national losses!

In 1976, the Government of India set up the National Flood Commission (Rashtriya Barh Ayog) “to evolve a coordinated, integrated and scientific approach to the flood control problems in the country and to draw out a national plan fixing priorities for implementation in the future.” That a large number of agencies in our country are still mentioning the Barh Ayog’s data in their diagnostic statements is an ominous reminder that our level of preparedness is somewhat low!

According to the annual report of Ganga Flood Control Commission (2010-11),  Uttarakhand was allocated a budget of Rs 280 crore, but ironically, the flood management plans ignored the issues of deforestation and environmental devastation!

The report of the 12th Five-Year Plan working group on ‘Flood Management and Region Specific Issues’, shows Uttarakhand’s flood vulnerabilities. Until March 2011, it included the coverage of 2000 hectares, compared to 18000 hectares in Himachal Pradesh. The state has created 9 km of embankment, a fraction of the 159.16 km completed in Himachal Pradesh; it has no drainage channels, whereas Himachal has constructed 11 km. While 82 Himachal villages were protected through the raising of the ground level, none of the villages in Uttarakhand received such protection. In fact, the state government needed Rs. 600 crore for relocating all the villagers, but had only Rs. 50 lakh in their kitty. The Central Government doesn’t mind giving 1000 crore today though (you must be kidding me now !!)

So was it just a nature’s fury or have we dug our own graves?


Uttarakhand: Water, Water Everywhere…

Floods and landslides have wrought havoc in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Submerged houses, floating buildings and corpses gives the feel of the D-Day! Here are some images of the flood which evokes pathos and fear.

flood 1Rishikesh: There couldn’t have been greater irony! The Lord of Destruction, too, caught up in the midst of  destruction and devastation.

flood 2Houses partially submerged due to the torrential downpour!

flood 3

People remove their furniture from their homes as the water level rises.

flood 4Army swings into action for relief from flood.

flood 5Dehradun: Houses partially submerged in the flood water

flood 6

Buildings topple into the river and is washed away by the current.