*Lavi Fair* Lavi Fair of Himachal Pradesh is organized annually in Rampur,on the banks of River Satluj. It is held in the month of November and has already attained international fame and renown. Lavi once served as a major trading centre and the stopover point on the old trade routes that led to Kinnaur, Tibet, Ladakh and Afghanistan. The fair that takes place there also finds a mention in the records of the erstwhile state of Bushair. It is said that, during the reign of Raja Kesar Singh, a trade treaty was signed between Bushahr and Tibet, as a sign of friendliness Horses and swords were also exchanged between them. It is since that time that International Lavi Fair is being celebrated in the town. Earlier, the traders from Tibet and Kinnaur used to put up their stalls at the fair. However, this practice stopped with the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Now, efforts are being made to revive the pristine glory of the fair. Traders come to the Lavi Fair to sell quilts, utensils and other cons umer goods.

Amongst the things one can buy at the fair, the most popular ones are 'Pashmina' wool, dry fruits, 'Chaumkhi' horses that are surefooted and abound in the surrounding tribal areas and a variety of native handicrafts. Tribals trade agricultural produce, dry fruits, woollen pattoos and kala zira here. Last but not the least; you can also buy Chinese products at the International Lavi Fair, such as jackets, tracksuits and crockery.

With winter just about to come in the months of November, the age-old Lavi fair fills Rampur with a burst of activity.

The famous ‘International Lavi Trade fair’ is one of the unique examples of the glorious, social, cultural, economic history and legacy of Himachal Pradesh. It is the biggest trade fair of the greater Himalayas, which is held at Rampur Bushahr, about 130 kms from Shimla from 11th to 14th November every year. Rampur Bushahr, which is popularly know as the gateway of tribal District Kinnaur is situated on the left bank of river Sutlej and is one of the oldest town on Hindustan Tibet road.

In ancient times, Tibet and Kinnaur had good trade relations and Lavi fair is the outcome of business interest of both sides. Even today, the tradition is as vibrant as ever. By the churning waters of the river Sutlej, a variety of goods including wool, dry fruits and horses are bartered and sold. People from other areas in general and tribal belt in particular participate in this fair with horses, mules, pashminas, colts, yaks, chilgoza, namdas, pattis, woolens, raw semi-finished wool and other dry fruits produced in the state are brought for selling. It is three hundred years old fair and also a state fair.

During day time, hectic trade activities are witnessed all over the town. Large number of traders came to the fair to sell quilts, utensils and other consumer goods. At night, folks dances and music around small bonfires are organized. It continues for three days. Efforts have been made to restore the old glory of the fair, which recently has been given a modern touch.

In spite of the spread of education, better communication links and upliftment in the socio-economic conditions of the people of the area they continue to believe firmly in strong social bonding which is the hallmark of the rich cultural traditions of the State. Rampur is important commercial centre. During the last three decades, this fair has also gained cultural significance. The fair has already been recognized as an International fair.

With the culmination of four days extravaganza, the people return with sweet memories to meet again next year on the occasion of Fag mela to be celebrated in the month of April.

The principality of Bashahr (also known as Bashahar, Bushahar, Bushahr) was once among the largest of the twenty-eight Shimla Hill States under the administration of the British Raj keen to invest on regional and transcontinental trade and exploit Himalayan resources. It bordered on the north with Spiti, on the east with Tibet, on the south with Garhwal, and on the west with Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kumharsain, Kotgarh, and Kullu. Caught in the machinations of the British imperial enterprise, it was subjected to political-cum-economic vicissitudes, acceding to the Indian Union in 1947. On 8 March 1948, along with twenty other princely hill States of Punjab and Shimla, Bashahr signed an agreement which resulted in its inclusion in the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh.

Rampur, a small township situated at 1,005 meters on the left bank of the Sutlej, served as Bushahar’s winter capital. Being well connected with major trading routes that joined Indian markets with Central Asia and Tibet, it buzzed with mercantile activity, especially in November during the Lavi fair, the largest trading event in the north Himalayas attracting traders from Kashmir, Ladakh, Yarkand, and the Indian mainland. Concerning the origins of the Rampuri fair, the *Census of India* (1961) reports:

"*About three hundred years ago during the regime of Raja Kehar Singh of Bushahr, a trade treaty was signed between the Bushahr State and Tibet…Horses from Tibet and swords from Bushahr were exchanged in token of this friendship. It was written in the treaty that their friendly relations would continue till this time…Since then, it is presumed that trade relations increased and eventually [the] Lavi fair was held.*"

Rampur was also located along pilgrimage routes to sacred sites in western Tibet shared by Hindus, Bön and Buddhists alike, i.e., Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar Missionary and pilgrimage activities, intensified by trading possibilities, created the conditions for Tibetan Buddhism to take a firm stronghold in these borderland regions. Twenty-two kilometres from the village of Namgya in upper Kinnaur, laid the Shipki pass which linked caravan routes to and from western Tibet

This treacherous transcontinental passage must have been in use from ancient times, for among the ruined castles reported by Francke at Shipki village, there were no living memories of the origins of mKar gog, the oldest of them built above the village in cyclopean style.Rampur also have Hydo electric projects like NJPC and Rmpur Project bye SJVNL A second castle, known as Seng ge mkhar, is said to have received its crooked ground plan “through a race round its base executed in opposite directions by a poisonous snake and a scorpion,” and was built, in all probability, during the Ladakhi occupation of mNga’ ris by orders of King Seng ge rnam rgyal (1570–1642) and called after him. Itis 30 km from SAINJ

Rampur is located at 31.45°N 77.63°E

It has an average elevation of 1350 metres (4429 feet. It is a very beautiful place situated at the bank of the river Satluj. The city has many popular places like Jhakri, Sarhan and Green valley Gaura, Shraikoti, {Nankhari, Gahan, Hatu Mata temple, cold rainy & snow view hill station} to name a few. The city is also the home to Asia's Largest Hydro Power Project - The Nathpa Jhakri project built by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd.(formerly known as Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation) at Jhakri and world's deepest Surge shaft at shah (22 K.M away from Rampur).