Three-day tourism mahotsav begins at Aritar from April 6
Gangtok, Mar 17: For the first time an NGO, Aritar Dalapchand Lampokhari Development Society in association with the Sikkim Tourism Department is organising a three-day long tourism festival at Aritar under Rongli Sub-division of East Sikkim district.
The Lamphokari Partyan Mahotsav, named after Lampokhari, one of the oldest natural lakes in Sikkim, will be held from April 6 to 8.
Rongli Sub-Divisional officer Dhiraj Pradhan, one of the key officers overlooking the successful celebration of the festival, told UNI that the objective of the festival is to promote the hitherto unexplored places of tourist interest as a major tourist destination and to generate employment opportunities for the local youths.
State Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is scheduled to inaugurate the festival located at 4600 feet above the sea level at a glittering function soon after his return from the tour of the European countries.
Mr Pradhan said all efforts had been taken to blend adventure, entertainment, culture, sports and the bio-diversity in the proposed festival to give the visiting tourists the value for their money.
He said while the traditional artists will treat the tourists with cultural programmes showcasing the rich ethnic culture and communal harmony of the state on the inaugural day, boat racing, marathon, rock climbing and pony riding will keep up the interest of the visiting tourists throughout the festival.
Arrangements had also been made for the tourists to undertake trekking from Lampokhari to Phusrey lake, Gorjurey, Rachela--the tri -junction border of Sikkim-West Bengal and Bhutan and Lungchok in the heart of wildlife habitats of Red Panda, black Khaleej, barking deer and bear.
Mr Pradhan said traditional food stalls showcasing local cuisine, models of traditional houses of ethnic community designed to reflect the preserved culture and life of people, different varieties of orchids, ornamental plants and medicinal herbs would also be displayed during the festival. Archery, the traditional game of the tribal community of Sikkim, would be the major attraction on the concluding day of the festival.
He said tourists could also visit Rhenock Aritar Gumpha, a monastery of Kagyupa order considered as one of the holiest, Partiavetswar Shivalaya temple, a venerated Hindu shrine, Mankhim Dara and Nirmala Dham-abode of Nirmal Guruji known for his miraculous healing power located close to the festival site.
The SDO said as many as 50 houses had been identified in the area to serve as homes for tourists and steps were being taken to train the local youths the finer aspects of handling tourists.
He hoped the festival site nestled in the lap of Himalayas and surrounded by mighty Kanchenjunga would leave a lasting impression on the minds of the tourists and promote tourism.