• August 19, 2022

Daily Gadyal

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MACHHAL MELA – 2021 CELEBRATION OF ARMY- AWAAM ONENESS: 30 OCT 2021

Byadmin

Oct 31, 2021

Srinagar, 31 Oct 2021. Machhal a peaceful, picturesque valley with lush green
forests , gently flowing milky streams beautiful meadows and smiling hard working
village folks is located approximately 50 km North of Kupwara, across the Zamindar
Khan Gali, at an elevation of 8850 ft in close proximity of the line of control. The
valley remains cut off for nearly six months in winters due to heavy snowfall. It has
population of around 15000, comprising primarily of Kashmiris, Pahadis and Gujjars
who are engaged in agriculture and support the Army in various capacities. The
landscape is populated with nomadic bakkarwals and their herds of cattle during
summers. At Machhal, the Army and the locals are a cohesive team. They are
interdependent, face the vagaries of weather and line of control together in absolute
harmony. Machhal Mela, an annual event organised by Indian Army, celebrates the
Army-Awaam camaraderie and bonhomie and was organised this year on 30 Oct
2021.
The highlights of the Mela this year was the inauguration of 150 feet long
bridge constructed by GREF which will join nine villages of Machhal to Kupwara.
The bridge was named as Captain Ashutosh bridge in memory of the braveheart,
who made the supreme sacrifice on 08 Nov 2020 in an anti terrorist operation in the
sector. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra posthumously on 15 Aug 2021. Another
highlight of the mela was the dedication to Nation of 140 feet high national flag which
is one of the largest in the country and largest national flag in the valley. The
national flag is 56 feet long and 37 feet wide.

A Smriti Sthal dedicated to the fallen soldiers of 56 RR (MARATHA LI) named
Maratha Smriti Sthal was also inaugurated. The wall of the Smrithi Sthal has been
engraved with the names of 32 bravehearts of 56 RR (MARATHA LI) who have
made the supreme sacrifice for the nation. Today’s Machhal Mela culminated after a
series of events that started around two months ago. Cricket, volleyball, a pony race
and drawing competitions were held. People took active part with full zeal and
enthusiasm. In today’s, final performance, local NCC cadets marched smartly in
front of the crowd. Kupwara dance group and children of local schools presented a
number of dance and cultural events. A number of competitions for children were
also conducted. Maj Gen VMB Krishna, GOC 28 Inf Div was the chief guest for the

event. Several army and civil officials along with members of civil society also
attended.

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