13-day Ekamra festival kicks off in temple city

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Bhubaneswar,Feb 15 (UNI) Ekamra, the 13-day long temple city festival, will kick off from tomorrow here with an aim to promoting cultural tourism and woo tourists from all over the world.

Union Minister for Tourism Ambika Soni is scheduled to inaugurate the colourful festival at a function here tomorrow in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Tourism Minister Debi Prasad Misra told newspersons here today.

The festival will have six components-- Toshali National Craft Mela, Mukteswar Dance Festival, Ekamra International Food festival, Kalinga Mahostav, Rajarani music festival and a mini marathon. The festival would be organised on the lines of Suraj Kund mela, he said.

The craft mela would be held from February 16 to 27, the dance festival from February 17 to February 19, the food festival from February 20 to 27, the Kalinga festival from February 23 to 24 and the Music festival from February 26 to 28.

The state owned Orissa Mining Corporation would organise a mini marathon on February 17 on the occasion of the festival.

The government, he said, took the decision to converge different festivals in a bid to facilitate the tourists to know about the rich culture, handicrafts, music, cuisines and arts of Orissa and the country.

Mr Mishra said a plan was on to make the mela a permanent feature for the artisans where the tourists could visit at any time of the year.

A committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary had been formed for the purpose.

The Minister said Toshali National Crafts Mela was the most important component of the festival. An attempt was made to hold the mela in the ambience of Indian rural market. Skilled and award winning artisans from across the country would participate in the mela with their products.

As many as 160 stalls would display some of the finest handicraft and handloom of the country.


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