Historic Lavi trade fair to begin in tomorrow

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Shimla, Nov 10 (UNI) The four-day annual Lavi Fair, one of the oldest trade fairs in the country being held for more than 300 years, will begin from tomorrow at Rampur Bushehr, 130 Km from here, on Hindustan-Tibet road.

Lavi fair was started during the regime of Raja Kehari Singh of Bushahr in the year 1681 when he entered into a pact with the then Tibetan ruler, thereby facilitating the traders of both sides to market their produce in each other's territory.

The pact had rhetorically stated that ''Unless the snow stops melting in Jambu Dweep, Mansarovar Lake dries, Crow changes its colour and this age ends, the free trade would go on''.

Trade links after this pact were strengthened and traders from Tibet brought wool, Pasham and animals while the traders of Bushahr were allowed to sell woolen clothes, food grains and salt.

To give boost to trade of raw silk and Pashmina, a road was constructed in the year 1850 from Tibet border to Shimla and later this Hindustan Tibet Road became National highway 22.

The fair was mainly linked with wool as it was the main trade product during that time. The world Lavi has is from ''Lo or Loi''which in local dialect means a woolen cloth worn during winter and also cutting of sheep wool.

With the passage of time apart from woolen and silk, trade in other items including dried fruits like almond apricot, medicinal products like shilajit, kala zeera and hill tea and animal trade mainly of sheep, goats, mules and horses also started.

There was a time when the fair attracted traders not only from Tibet but also from China, Turkey and countires of Central Asia.

In modern times, even though Lavi fair's importance as a trade event has declined, it still holds an attraction for a large number of foreign and domestic tourists as it provides them a rare glimpse of the rich and unique tribal culture.

The tourists also utilise the visit to see various places of religious and cultural interest in the surrounding areas including the Parashuram temple, ancient Suryanarayan temple and Mahabhimakali temple.

One of the major attractions of the fair is a horse show of Chmurthi Horses of Pin valley of Spiti. Tough and sturdy Chmurthi Horse is highly suitable for the hilly terrain of Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti and Ladakh.

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