Rupnagar, Oct 21 (UNI) The first ever six day Rupnagar Heritage Festival, being organised by the local Tourism and Cultural Society, began here today with the 'Karvan-E-Rupnagar' procession.
Led by the Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs minister, Hira Singh Gabria, Karvan-E-Rupnagar, showcasing heritage and culture of historic and antique town of Rupnagar, started from local government senior secondary school for girls and passed through the main streets of the town before culminating at local historic Maharaja Ranjit Singh Bagh.
The procession comprised elephants, horses, bands besides contingents of youth and students and tableaux depicting facets of heritage of Rupnagar. 'Gatka' parties displayed the traditional Sikh martial art skills along the route of the procession.
Children lined up on both the sides of the road and welcomed the procession.
While speaking on the occasion, Mr Gabria lauded the efforts made by the Rupnagar Tourism and Cultural Society in organising the festival adding that such festivals were need of the hour to preserve the rich culture and heritage of Punjab.
He also disclosed that Punjab government as preparing a tourism master plan for the state and Rupnagar district, Sultanpur Lodhi and other important districts had been included in the plan. He also announced a grant of Rs one lakh to the society.
Mr Gabria, however, pulled up the authorities for not using Punjabi language in the hoardings put up on the stage. He asked the Deputy Commissioner to make amends and install hoardings in Punjabi language by tomorrow.
While speaking on the occasion Deputy Commissioner-cum-president Rupnagar Tourism and Cultural Society, B Purushartha said that the heritage festival would be organised every year.
Various inter-school competitions in folk songs and dances and poetry were also organised on the first day of the festival at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Bagh.
UNI XC HS VN2043