Varanasi, Nov 21 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh Tourism minister Vinod Singh today inaugurated the three-day Ganga Mahotsava 2007 at Rajendra Prasad Ghat by lighting the lamp amid chanting of hymns.
The programme took off with shehnai recital by Rama Shankar of Varanasi.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Singh stressed the need for encouraging cultural tourism.
''Such type of programmes would not only assist in preserving our cultural heritage, but also attract a large number of foreign tourists. This will benefit our economy.'' The minister sought the cooperation of media in spreading the Indian culture and traditions in every part of the world.
Varanasi Commissioner Nitin Rakesh Gokarna, while welcoming the guests, also suggested for organising such programmes.
The Tourism minister honoured Padam Vibhushan tabla maestro Pandit Kishan Maharaj by presenting him a memento.
A large number of audience, including foreigners, were present on the Rajendra Prasad ghat to enjoy the event.