Jammu festival back after six years

The Jammu Festival, aimed at showcasing rich culture, heritage and traditions of the city, began with a scintillating recital on the santoor, enthralling many a visitors here.

The six-day long festival was inaugurated by Governor N N Vohra and Tourism Minister Gulam Ahmed Mir here at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium of the Jammu University on Wednesday night.

Addressing a gathering here, Vohra complimented Mir for taking up the initiative of reviving the festival after a gap of six years.

The governor said he hoped that people of Jammu would enjoy all the programmes in the next five days and the festival would be a memorable experience for them.

A melodious confluence of the notes of the tabla and noted santoor exponent Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma wafting over the auditorium, filled the senses of the 1,000-strong audience keeping them mesmerised throughout the performance.

Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, recipient of Padam Vibhushan made a scintillating one-and-a-half-hour presentation which was heard with ‘pin drop silence’ by the audience.

Mir said the objective of organising this festival is to attract a large number of tourists to Jammu and Kashmir and to present our rich art, culture and the scenic beauty of the state.

He said about 1.05 crore pilgrims perform darshan at the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra annually and if even one half of the pilgrims could be attracted to stay on and visit the tourist spots of Patnitop, Mansar-Sruinsar, Rajouri- Poonch, Bani- Basohli, Baderwah and other scenic spots, the economy of the state would receive a big boost.

The minister appealed to the private sector to participate in infrastructure building in tourism sector and to provide quality services to the tourists. As part of the ongoing Jammu Festival, the Tourism department today organised a Heritage Walk from Amar Mahal to Mubarak Mandi here in which students and staff from different schools participated.

Speaking on the occasion, Mir  said that through such festivals, the city would be recognised as a heritage tourist destination world over which mainly attract tourists and boost local economy.

He also urged students to become the ambassadors to disseminate information about historical importance of these places wherever they go.

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