Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 20 (UNI) The seven-day annual 'Nishagandhi Festival,' a cultural event showcasing the traditional handicrafts of Kerala and the cuisine of the country, began here today with fervor with Kerala Governor R L Bhatia lighting the traditional lamp.
Inaugurating the carnival,Mr Bhatia said such a festival would be a feather to the State's tourism initiatives.People from various countries were visiting the state to relax and enjoy its natural beauty.
In his address, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said the government was committed to protect the interests of artistes and provide all possible help to them.
Malayalam Matinee Idol Mamootty said similar festivals should be organised in all the districts.
Prominent Manipuri, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Mohiniyattamm, Odissi and Kuchipudi dancers from the country will perform at the festival which would also include fusion music, ghazal and mandolin performances.
Food buffs would have a chance to taste a variety of cusines from the spicy Chettinad delights to a sumptuous Kerala spread.
UNI CGV GM LS RK2105