The people of the state have strong faith and belief in the deities and the State Government is committed to preserve the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the state. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here today while telephonically addressing a function organized on the occasion Pran Pratistha of new chariot of Sri Pundrik Rishi at Sarahan village in Banjar Assembly Constituency of Kullu district today. Chief Minister was to attend the function in person, however could not go due to some unavoidable circumstances. The people of the area have immense faith in the local deity Pundrik Rishi and who is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to a legend, the sage was absorbed in penance for a long time near Sarahari Sarovar in village Dogli and Lord Vishnu appeared and invited him to visit Bekunth Dham and at the same time overwhelmed this place with the name Bekunth Dham. . Jai Ram Thakur also dedicated the Forest Department’s rest house at Banogi, Sainj constructed at a cost of about Rs. 47 lakh. He said that the construction of this rest house would also give a boost to tourism activities. MLA Banjar Surinder Shourie, former MP Maheshwar Singh, Brig. Kushal Thakur, BJP District President Bhim Sen, Mandal President Baldev Mahant, State Executive Member Banwari Lal, District Yuva Morcha President Naval Negi and other dignitaries were also present were present on the occasion while Deputy Commissioner Kullu Ashutosh Garg accompanied the Chief Minister at Shimla.