Mangar ‘model’ house soon

http://www.thestatesman.net

KALIMPONG, Nov. 21. — Looking to preserving their age-old living habits, Mangar, an ethnic Nepalese community here, will shortly be inaugurating their traditional “model house” at Chibo Busty. An initiative from Akhil Bharatiya Mangar Sangh (ABMS), the model house, which is now a vanishing feature of the community, is a two-storied stone dwelling.
The ground floor is built underground with and one storey is on the ground level. The floors are all made of wood with mud on top and roofs are made of straw. Besides acting as a landmark move for preservation of their culture and tradition, the house, general secretary of ABMS, Mr Bhanu Thapa Mangar claimed, could also become a major tourist attraction.
“There are very few such houses in existence in this region. I have only come across one such house here and one in Sikkim,” said Mr Thapa Mangar recalling that it was about three years ago when the Sangh had though about for the preserving them.
The house will be opened to tourists in the coming month. “The model house is already complete and we are now working to beautify the garden and collecting traditional artifacts so they can be put on display in the house,” he added.
The now completed structure was actually an existing Mangar house burnt in a fire in the late 1960s. ”The owner then donated the house. Later; we decided to renovate it. The floor, roof and a portion of the stone wall had to be repaired,” said Mr Thapa Mangar, adding: “The house has been built at the total expenses of about Rs 1,90,000.”
The maintenance costs will rise in the days to come. “We have not yet raised the rest of the money. But after we raise it we plan to buy more land there and build huts so tourists can also live there,” he said, adding that the funds have been raised from various communities.

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