Gangtok (Sikkim), May 16 (ANI): In an effort to strengthen the state's economy and woo tourists to its picturesque locales, the Sikkim tourism has promoted a rural festival called Winter Village Fest of Assam Lingzey 2010.
The government promoted village tourism by setting up many village home-stays in different parts of this picturesque Himalayan state during the festival that began on May 10 and concluded today.
"The Chief Minister of Sikkim (Pawan Chamling) took this initiative. We are promoting village tourism. We are doing this programme, so that the people of the villages come forward and help in the development," said Kamala Rai, a local resident.
During the festival, villagers of the area got an opportunity to exhibit their traditional costumes and crafts, besides presenting the unique traditions and distinctive cultural features of Sikkimese society to visitors.
"I think it's a very good idea because as a tourist it is very difficult to go inside their house to see how they live, their costumes. So, we can see everybody here, we can see all the traditional costumes," said Valeria, a tourist from France.
The main attraction of the festival was the traditional food stalls belonging to three Sikkimese communities - the Sikkim Nepalese, the Bhutias and the Lepchas.
The state government is aiming to build more traditional houses in model villages with suitable modern amenities, so that tourists can experience the rural lifestyle. (ANI)