Manali Beautification: Mall Road buildings to get traditional kath-kuni look
mall road manali

All the buildings of the mall road, the main shopping area of the Manali town, will get the traditional look with kath-kuni architectural style under the proposed beautification plan.

As part of the beautification of the town, the municipal council (MC) has planned to adopt the kath-kuni style which is being adopted by the local villages for centuries. Kath-kuni being the local identification and a mark of Kullu culture, in the first phase the local civic body wants to give the buildings of the major shopping area of the town a unique new look.

“All expenses will be borne by the tourism department with the help of Asian Development Bank (ADB). We are waiting for NOC from the owners of all the buildings. Either Kullu or Manali is to be selected for this project. Hopefully, we shall get NOC from all the properties very soon and the project will be sanctioned in a few months. This way all buildings will look similar and beautiful,” Manali MC president Neena Thakur said.

mall road of manali after snowfall
Aerial view of Mall Road of Manali after the snowfall

The officials from MC and the administration held a meeting with local stakeholders on Monday and discussed in detail about this project. The mall road area is about 300m in length and all the buildings on both sides of the area will get kath-kuni makeover in the front portions. This is the main shopping area of the town which remains abuzz with tourists round the year.

Kath-kuni is the architectural style in which timber is used after a certain gap while building a wall with the cutstones. The long parallel timber not just gives the structure extra stability and strength but also gives it a beautiful look. The kath-kuni structures are earthquake-proof.

At present, all the buildings in the Manali including hotels, residential houses, and other commercial buildings do not follow a particular rule to give a symmetrical look to the town. The people choose their own design and colour of the building. With mushrooming of the buildings, the town is turning a concrete jungle.

Manali town
The Manali town

Himachal government had approved a multi-crore beautification project for the entire Manali town many years back. Vision document for the project was prepared by the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, but despite spending huge amount on planning, the project was turned down.

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The Himalayan


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