Saturday, August 31, 2013

Revisiting Dalapchand

It may sound strange, the famed Lampokhari better known as Aritar Lake is not at Aritar but is found within the boundary of Dalapchand.  I, too, like many was unknown of this fact until during my two years stay at Dalapchand SS.

I had come across people out there who told me myths of Lampokhari that were followed from one generation to another. The oral folk-lore are fabled stories thou sometimes hard to believe but are nevertheless interesting to read. I believe it is these stories that gave birth to the charishma of Lampokhari that is today visited for its mesmerizing and unparalleled beauty.

Dalapchand originally called Do-le-che means flattened rock as old people recount. This little known village more popular for its green vegetables today was a major mule route to Tibet started during British Expedition 1888 till Indo-China conflict in the early 60s. Today more than five decades after the closing of the mule driven trade along with the development of better transportation facilities those mule routes at Dalapchand are now scattered in patches. Those routes are now left with wild grasses and its golden past long-lost.

The fort at Lingtu as seen through a powerful glass from Dolepchen village in Sikkim. Lieutenant C. J. Markham (1890) Report On The Sikhim Expedition
The fort at Lingtu as seen through a powerful glass from Dolepchen village in Sikkim
Lieutenant C. J. Markham (1890) Report On The Sikhim Expedition

Gadha-taar is one such place at Mandir Line, Dalapchand which still holds its name from its long-drawn-out history. It is an open field where sports activities of the locality are occasionally held off lately. Old folks talks about mules being kept to rest at this open field few decades back. Similarly to the place where Lampokhari Festival is held annually, there used to be a grass go-down that stored grasses for the mules during the trading season. Often I have heard people at that place would enjoy their late night staying with dance and drinks then.

It is interesting to note that Dipok Dey, well-known Postal Stamp designer in his article on Sikkim Postal History mentions, it was the aftermath of the British Expedition 1888 that laid the foundation of the Postal History of Sikkim. The year 1888 saw the British Expedition Force driving out the Tibetan forces beyond the Jalepla that led to the permanent stationing of the military escort at Gangtok. Thus, it was finally that a Post & Telegraph Office was set up in Gangtok.

An old mule route at Dalapchand.

With the advance of troops, a Post Office was opened at Dulapchin (now Dalapchand) that was later removed to Ranglichu (now Rongli). At the same time, other Post Offices were also opened at Gnatong, Sedonchin, Gangtok, Rhenock Bazaar and Pakyong.

Dalapchand must be a place of significance to the British towards the latter 1880s where it finds its name printed in a map of Sikkim in 1888, the name mentioned is ‘Dolepchen’. I have found another instance where during the Sikkim Expedition 1888 a sketch had been printed on a book of Lingtu (now Lungthung) fort that was earlier occupied by the Tibetans. The British had pushed back the Tibetans beyond Jalepla.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Federation of Consumers Association of Sikkim holds a meeting

SINGTAM, AUGUST 28:  Federation of Consumers Association of Sikkim (FCAS) held a meeting at Gangtok on August 27 to re-establish its organization.  Jayashree Pradhan was the President of the meeting that had people from different profession along with students participating and sharing their experiences. Kuber Dahal, Former Additional Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department, Mahesh Sharma, Assistant Controller, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department along with people gathered from Gangtok, Singtam, Central Pandam and others were present on the occasion.
Highlight of the meeting was to re-organise the organization. The members of the organization shared their experiences and echoed the importance of a forum that would raise voice for consumer related issues. The Consumer forum was started in 1997 but in the last few years it had lessened its work.
New executive members were also formed on the occasion. Jayashree Pradhan (President), Pushpa Basnet (Vice President), Rohit Pradhan (General Secretary), Dr. Daisy Rasaily & Shekher Khatiwada (Secretary), Anurag Dhungel (Treasurer), Kishore Shrestha (Assistant Treasurer), Suresh K Lama (Chief Coordinator), Praveen Pradhan (Coordinator – East), Bikash Sharma (Coordinator- Student), Shital Pradhan and Dilli Ram Dulal (Publicity Secretary).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Anmol Chhan brings this Christmas on September

“Anmol Chhan – A Christmas in September” from the makers of Super Hit nepali film “Angalo Yo Maya Ko” is making its way to cinema hall world –wide next month. Produced by Kishore Dungmali Rai under the banner of Sinai Enterprises, this nepali film shot at the beautiful locales of Sikkim and parts of Kalimpong and Kolkata is about family values and self belief. Directed and story by Anmol Gurung, the story revolves around three people and their journey of life.
Sneha Rai from Majhitar makes her debut as a lead actress. Shalom Kabo and child artiste Anurup Rai are the other lead actors in the film. The other artistes include “Katha fame” Timothy Rai, Nita Pradhan, Sandhya Sundas, Suraj Chettri, Abigel Rasaily, Smriti Rai, Praveen Manger and others. Praja Pradhan and Smriti Rai are the Assistant Director and the Production Designer.
Anand Rai  and Anmol Gurung are the Music Dirctor. Saikap Dev has given the background score while cinematography and editing is by Punu Lucksom. The music had been recorded at Hyssop Studio Kalimpong and Sangeet Studio, Kolkatta. Elishiba Rai from Singtam, winner of ‘Voice of Shalom Sikkim’, Prashant Tamang, Indian Idol 3,  Banika Pradhan, Himalayan Idol,  Anmol Gurung, Bigyan Baraily and Navin Rai have given the playback singing.
It should be noted that Kishore Dungmali’s earlier film “Angalo Yo Maya Ko” was a world-wide success having released at Nepal, 5 States of United States of America, Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Thailand and most of the places of India. The new film “Anmol Chhan – A Christmas in September” is expected to follow the same.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chisopani JHS felicitates a choreographer

SINGTAM, AUGUST 26:  A small thanks giving program was organized at Chisopani JHS today to felicitate Geeta Sharma, Choreographer  for her contribution to the school at the recently held 67th Independence Day. Khadas was offered to Geeta Sharma by the school staff. Sharma was also presented an appreciation certificate and a gift.
Mahesh Dahal, Headmaster of the school in his brief speech thanked Geeta Sharma for her involvement in the school’s dance activities as well as in the student’s drill that was performed at the school ground on the occasion of 67th Independence Day. He further said, the public was entertained with the wonderful dance performed by the school students. During her short stay at the school, the students had been benefitted from her dancing lessons, added Dahal. Geeta Sharma in return thanked the school staff for giving her the responsibility and cooperation. She added she enjoyed being part of the school team. She especially thanked Romila Rai, Sushma Pradhan, Anu Gurung, Meena Rai and Nirmala Chettri for supporting her during her stay.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nepali Language Recognition reception photograph from Singtam (1992)


On the occasion of the 21st Nepali Language Recognition Day, I here share a photograph of people from Singtam waiting for the reception of Mr. and Mrs. NB Bhandari near the old Iron Bridge after nepali language was recognized and included in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution. (1992)

Smt. Dil Kumari Bhandari, then Member of Parliament and Shri NB Bhandari, then Chief Minister of Sikkim had played a significant role in the inclusion of Nepali as a National Language in Eight Schedule of Constitution of India.