Manali: With over 125 tableaux and cultural troops from Himachal and other states showcasing their culture by taking out processions, the Ninth National Winter Carnival 2020 that will be celebrated for five days kicked started here on Thursday.
The official beginning of the carnival took place after worshipping the Hidimba Devi of Manali. The chief minister Jai Ram Thakur then flagged off the cultural processions. All the processions were based on a theme based on social messages. Thousands of people, including tourists, making queues on both sides of the road enjoyed it a lot. Nearly 3,000 students and thousands of residents sang national song on the Mall Road.
Despite extreme cold weather, huge crowd thronged the town to see carnival parade. Besides dozens of teams from Himachal, states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, MP, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are also participating in different events.
“Kullu has always been leading district in preservation of culture and traditions, all thanks to its people especially women,” chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said. He added that he was mesmerised to see such a crowd despite spine-chilling cold. As Manali remains abuzz with tourists round the year, a multi-purpose huge indoor auditorium would be built in Manali.”
The tourists will get to buy local products and eat local cuisines here for five days. While all the competitions will held at Manu Rangshala, an amphitheatre, some of the performances like folk dance and folk music would be played in the market to entertain the tourists. Tourists will get a chance to dance with the folk artists.
Jai Ram Thakur said that Rs. 163 crore Sewerage Scheme would provide sewerage facilities to Manali town and adjoining areas.
Forest and Transport Minister Govind Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for dedicating developmental projects worth crores of rupees for Manali town. He said that Chief Minister was always considerate towards developmental demands and needs of the Kullu district which has ensured that the district forged ahead on path of progress and prosperity under his leadership. He also detailed various developmental demands of the area.
Manali sub-divisional magistrate Raman Gharsangi, who is also vice president of Winter Carnival Committee, said the carnival has a successful beginning and people are full of enthusiasm. “Be it rain or snowfall, the carnival will continue. Tourists are getting to see local culture of Kullu at one place.. We are inviting everyone from the country to give Manali a visit during Winter Carnival,” he said.
Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur, MLA Banjar Surender Shourie, Vice Chairman HPMC Ram Singh, Chairperson BJP Mahila Morcha Dhaneshwari Thakur, District BJP President Bhimsen, BJP leader Yuvraj Bodh, SP Kullu Gaurav Singh were present on the occasion among others
Winter Carnival of Manali was first celebrated in 1977 when it was started to promote the winter games and local culture. Organizers used to conduct skiing competitions at Solang slopes but change in weather and no snowfall during this time is forcing them to cancel the event for last may years