Nainital (Uttarakhand), Nov 6(ANI): To give the tourism sector a boost in the Uttarakhand's Kumaon region, the scenic Nainital city is hosting this year's edition of the annual autumn festival named 'Sharadutsav'.
At a colourful event, the 'curtains-up' for 'Sharadutsav-2009' was witnessed to an overwhelming response of locals and tourists on Thursday.
The five-day festival promises to showcase a lot of programmes to entertain the audience and tourists visiting the hill station.
Apart from presenting the local cultural dance to the audience the programme included a mimicry show by stand up comedian Sudha Mishra.
Renowned Sufi singer Kailash Kher enthralled the audience in his melodious voice with a blend of Bollywood songs and Sufi music.
According to the officials of the Tourism Department, the inflow of tourists this year has increased by 15 percent and no wonder, they expressed happiness at these trends.
"If we look from a broader perspective, last year around 6,39,000 tourists visited Nainital. This year till October around 6,50,000 people visited Nainital and by the end of this year we expect the number to reach the range of 7 to 7.45 lakhs, an increase of 15 percent," said J C Beri, Regional Tourist Officer of Kumaon.
On their part, the audience at the festival was thrilled to see popular as well as talented singers and artists performing in the town, famous for its lake.
"Till now we had only seen Kailash Kher on television. It was for the first time that we saw him performing live. We really enjoyed his performance and wish that he performs next year also," said Kanika, a local.
Braving the drop in the mercury, the visitors with utmost enthusiasm have been enduring the chill and enjoy the warmth of the festival to the fullest.
On 9 November, it will be 'curtains-down' for the festival 'Sharadutsav Nainital-2009' and the enthralled audience will have to wait for the next year's edition with hopes of similar thrills. (ANI)