Gorakha, April 19: The Chuma Shatabdi Shyagya Mahotsav 2080, a cultural festival, has kicked off in Chumanubri rural municipality of northern Gorakha from today.
The Mahotsav with the tagline ‘Non-violence campaign, the identity of Chuma residents’ has been organised with the objective of protecting the nature and culture, said the rural municipality chairman Nima Lama who is also the chair of the Mahotsav organising main committee.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ inaugurated the festival amidst a programme at Rajen Gumba (monastery) at Chhekampar of Chumanubri Rural Municipality-7.
PM Dahal on the occasion said that the Chuma Valley in Gorakha district has spread the message of peace and non-violence to the whole nation and the world at large. He added that to preserve the Valley’s identity as a non-violence zone for 100 years is in itself a historic feat.
“This place is itself a historic area. The completion of 100 years of establishing Chuma Valley as a non-violence zone in itself is a historic and a matter of pride,” the Prime Minister said adding that the Valley’s natural beauty points out to the immense potentials for the economic and social development along with tourism development.
He also pledged to make initiatives for opening the Ruila transit point located on the border with Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The transit point also borders Samagaon of Chumanubri rural municipality -1 and Chhekampar.
Chair Lama shared that the festival having the goal of contributing to promoting the identity, history and biodiversity of Chuma region will run for three days. The festival has its origins in 1977 BS when the Lama incarnate Serap Dorje made the residents of the Chuma Valley to collectively resolve to abide by the non-violence principle. The Chuma Valley was the incarnate Buddhist monk’s meditation land. Since that time, the people of this Himalayan valley had declared their place as a ‘non-violence zone’. There is no animal sacrifice in Chuma Valley in line with this tradition.
Lama, the rural municipality chairman, believes that the event will further strengthen the social and cultural unity of people of the Chuma Valley, besides contributing to boosting up their collective historical resolve to protecting the nature and culture through non-destructive means.
A ‘peace lamp’ would be lit as part of the Mahotsav. A peace march, atonement worship by Buddhist priests, reading out the Buddha’s sermons and a cultural programme will be held tomorrow.
Similarly, afforestation would be carried out in the area on the occasion. A Lakhe dance accompanied by various cultural pageantries will be the highlights of the festival on April 21. An exhibition of local products would also be held as part of the festival.
The Mahotsav organising main committee chairperson said there are adequate hotels and home stay facility for the visitors coming to the event.
It is estimated the Mahotsav will cost approximately Rs 15 million and around Rs 4.5 million has been collected so far.
More than 1,500 foreign tourists visit Chuma Valley every year. Nepali tourists have also started visiting the place in recent years.RSS