Updated: July 9, 2021 11:43:02 am
Written by Om Prakash Thakur
The erstwhile princely state of Rampur Bushahr (now in Shimla district) was plunged in grief as the news of the passing of former Himachal chief minister Virbhadra Singh reached them, Thursday.
The state government declared a mourning period of three days as a mark of respect to the veteran Congress leader.
Outside the late CM’s residence, Padam Palace, several people gathered through the day, waiting to pay homage. ‘Bajantry’ (traditional musicians) from four villages — Shingla, Shaneri, Lalsa and Dandnsa — have been called to perform on Friday. The last rites will be held on Saturday.
According to royal tradition, Vikramditya Singh, Virbhadra’s son, will be coronated as Raja of Rampur Bushahr at Padam Palace on July 10. After Vikramaditya’s ‘raj tilak’, the funeral procession will proceed to the crematorium in Jaugni Bagh, near the palace, where last rites of only members of the royal family are performed.
At Kinnaur, Sarahan, Rampur and Rohru, many temples stayed closed on Thursday, including the ancient temple of Badri Narayan in Kamroo village in Sangla Valley, which will remain closed for the next three days. The ‘raj tilak’ of Virbhadra Singh was done in this temple years ago.
In Kalpa and Reckong Peo, people downed the shutters of their shops as a mark of mourning. In Sammarkot area of Rohru, once the Vidhan Sabha constituency represented by Virbhadra Singh, the Maheshwar temple in Samarehri village and Vir Lankra temple will also remain closed for a few days. Kanha Singh Chauhan, a retired school principal from Samarkot village, said, “Everyone is in a state of shock. No functions will be held in the area for a few days.”
“People of this area love raja sahab a lot. Whenever he came here, he would meet everyone as if they were his own family members. People remember all those meetings and interactions with him. People had a special attachment to him,” said Chauhan.
He added: “Even when the poor and needy went to meet him, Raja Sahab never sent anyone back empty-handed. Bus fare was always given from his own pocket. How people can forget him. This is the reason Virbhadra singh never organised any political rally in Samarkot, because all are his supporters.”
The area will observe a period of mourning till the day the ‘shudhi hawan’ will be performed after 11 days, said Chauhan.
Amrit Fishta from Dar village said that the funeral procession should go through Rampur as people want to pay their respect to their beloved leader and benefactor.
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