Port Blair, Jan 16 (UNI) The most awaited annual extravaganza of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Islands Tourism Festival, today got off to a colourful start at the capital town here.
The twelve-day long mega-event was inaugurated by Lt Governor Lt.
General (Retd) Bhopinder Singh this evening.
''ITF is the occasion to showcase the rich cultural heridity of this remote Indian island and every Indian should visit this island which is a pilgrimage of freedom struggle,'' Lt Governor Singh said while inaugurating the Tourism Festival.
Major attraction of ITF-08 would be Odissi dance performance by classical exponent Padma Vibhushan Dr Sonal Mansingh as part of the inaugural ceremony.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Sports, Art and Culture, A&N administration is all set to provide cultural inputs to the long awaited festival. As usual, Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, South Zone Cultural Centre and Song and Drama Division are deputing about 210 artists to perform folk and classical dances and martial arts of different parts of India.
''About 400 artists from Andaman and Nicobar Islands belonging to 40 cultural association will also take part in this programme which would depict the composite culture of these islands,'' D R Tamta, Special Secretary-cum-Director of Andaman's Tourism Department informed the media.
Apart from the daily cultural event, the contingents comprising visiting and local artistes would perform at various remote scattered islands like Baratang, Rangat, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Neil, Havelock, Car Nicobar and Hut Bay.
The main attraction of this year's festival would be 'Bollywood nites' to be organised at the Historic Netaji Stadium on January 17 and 19, where eminent gazal and playback singer Hariharan and popular singer Aditya Narayan would perform.
UNI SKR PL KK NC RS2012