Himachal to relocate Geu village known for mummified monk

Shimla, Aug 7 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh’s Geu village in Lahaul and Spiti district known for a 550-year-old mummified body of a monk is to be relocated to a safer location after it was damaged in flash floods and heavy rainfall.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Saturday directed the district administration to relocate the village.

‘We would extend all help to relocate the traditional tribal village Geu in the Spiti Valley at some safe location as it has been washed away due to flash floods, putting life and property in peril,’ an official statement quoting Dhumal said.

Dhumal also said that to relocate the village, the state government has already taken up the matter with the central government.

‘Alternate forest area at Silche near Hurling village has been identified by the state where the village could be easily relocated,’ he added.

Geu, located at an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level, lies on the Indo-Tibet border and is some 340 km from state capital Shimla.

Every year a large number of tourists, especially researchers, visit Geu to study the unique, naturally preserved mummy in a monastery.

The mummy was found by a team of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) after an earthquake that hit the region in 1975. It was discovered from one of the eight stupas (a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics) in the village. Even the teeth, nails and hair on the skull of the mummy are intact.

The Spiti Valley is populated mainly by Buddhists. The climatic conditions of the area are harsh as much of the land falls under a cold desert where the mercury drops below minus 20 degrees Celsius during winter.

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