Spl Train to celebrate Kalka-Shimla World Heritage status

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Shimla, Sep 17 (UNI) A special train, vibrant cultural programmes, spectacular fireworks, attractive tourism packages and foundation laying ceremony for a unique railway museum would be some of the attractions of a two-day mega event to celebrate the granting of the World Heritage Status to 104-year-old Shimla-Kalka rail track by the UNESCO.

''The status was actually a tribute to Bhalkoo, an illiterate genius who played a key role in translating the dream project of the British into a reality, and the two-day event would bring to the fore such little known facts through rare photos, maps, posters and souvenirs, Himachal Pradesh Secretary Tourism, Manisha Nanda said here today.

While presiding over a meeting of officials concerned to review the preparations for celebrating the World Heritage Status to the popular rail track on November 8 and 9, Ms Nanda said that all sections of people would be involved in the two-day event.

She said that the programme will start on the November 8 from Kalka and would conclude on November 9, at the Ridge Shimla and added that the main attractions of this programme would be flagging off Special Train from Kalka enroute Barog, Kandaghat, Kaithlighat and other railway stop-overs.

She said that local Panchayats and School Children would welcome the visitors with flags and balloons and exhibitions of rare photos, maps, artifacts etc. will be displayed at Barog and Shimla Railway Stations.

She said that dedication ceremony, Himachali cultural programmes with fireworks will be organized at Shimla in the evening and special cover and UNESCO certificate will be released. A plaque will be unveiled and foundation stone for Railway Museum will be laid down, she added.

Secretary Tourism said that the main attractions of various packages proposed to be conducted on the occasion will involve a travel by Kalka-Shimla Toy Train on the World Heritage Railway Track and added that HPTDC will make necessary arrangements for transport, boarding and lodging at its different Hotels and also take visitors around various tourist places.

She further said that the main aim for organising these packages in the joint venture is to popularise the World Heritage Railway Track and also to attract more foreign and Indian tourists to Himachal.

Officers of Tourism department, Indian Railway were present among others in the meeting.

UNI XC JN JS1442

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