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Pithoragarh, August 19
Gabla Puja, annual religious festival of the Rang tribal society residing in the Darma valley of the high Himalayas of Dharchula subdivision of this district, began after installation of the idol of Gabla devta.
The deity is considered a form of Shiva by these people. Gabla Puja was started by a senior member of the Rang society at Dantu village of the valley.
The religious ceremony, which had been attended by Nrip Singh Napalchayal, state information commissioner and member of the community, is being celebrated at Duktu village in the high Himalayan valley which is at a distance of 154 km from the district headquarters and 64 km from Dharchula subdivisional.
"The festival was inaugurated on August 17. Gabla Pujan is the main ceremony for which the idol was be raised at 7.30 am on Saturday followed by the worship of the deity," said Krisna Singh Firmal, a member of the Rang society.
According to Firmal, thousands of members of the Rang community had the glimpse of various local deities brought by local youths on the occasion.
The tribal Rang people consider local deities as their protectors. This will be followed by the installation of a statue of Jasuli Buri Sokyani, a woman from the community who is famous for getting 200 dharamshalas constructed in the 18th century.to create the lodging facility for the tribal people, who used to travel from Haldwani Mandi to Tibet during the old barter trade days.
"The inauguration will be done by chief guest Napalchyal," said Firmal.
According to the information, after the religious ceremony, an annual general meeting of the Rang community will be held on August 21 at the same village.
"We invite each and every member of our community , wherever he resides for this AGM every year. Most of the invitees, some even from foreign countries, spare time to attend the meet, in which the annual programme of welfare of the community are planned," said Sundar Singh Bonal, senior member of the community.


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