Kullu Dussehra festival begins today amid tight security


The historical week-long Dussehra festival in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district will begin on Friday amidst elaborate security arrangements, a district official said.
The internationally renowned festival is unique as it gets underway when Dussehra festivities culminate in the rest of the country and unlike other places, effigies of Ravan, Meghnad and Kumbhakaran are not burnt here.

Governor of the hill-state Acharya Devvrat will formally inaugurate the International Loknritya Utsav Kullu Dussehra 2018 at Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra at 7 pm, the official said.

The governor will also take part in the lord Raghunath Rath Yatra which will begin in the afternoon, he added.

Elaborate Security arrangements have been put in place for the mega festival, police said.

Along with several close circuit television (CCTV) cameras on the ground, the police will have eyes in the sky with the help of drone cameras that will be deployed to monitor suspicious activities, they said.

Kullu deputy commissioner and vice president of International Dussehra Utsav Committee, Yunus, reviewed the arrangements made for the festival in a meeting with the officials of different departments on Thursday.

The area has been divided into various sectors, deputy commissioner said adding, that sector magistrates and sector officials were asked to focus on their areas and inform immediately in case of any problem.

They have also been asked to hold daily meetings with committee representatives to review the arrangements, the deputy commissioner said.

Meanwhile, the administration has set up twenty special parking sites to ensure smooth flow of traffic, Kullu superintendent of police Shalini Agnihotri said.

As part of the seven-day festival, around 300 deities will gather at the historic Dhalpur maidan to pay obeisance to lord Raghunath.The deities from remote areas of the district have also reached here on palanquins.

Traditional dances and folk songs will be performed by artists from various parts of the hill-state and across the country. Artists from four different countries will also perform on the occasion.

Additional district magistrate (ADM) cum chief executive officer (CEO) of district disaster management authority (DDMA), Akshay Sood, said that a documentary, ‘Pathways to Resilience’ would also be screened during the festival to spread awareness about climate change and flash floods.

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