A curtain-raising event dedicated to the 9th edition of the 'India International Dance and Music Festival' and the International Kullu Dussehra Festival 2023 was jointly organised by the Himachal Pradesh Government and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in New Delhi on Tuesday, October 10.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary of Tourism, Sunder Singh Thakur, who is also Chairman of the International Kullu Dussehra Festival Organizing Committee, launched the teaser and released a booklet on the occasion to provide a peek into the grand celebration of the festival.
While interacting with the media on the occasion, Thakur informed them that the International Kullu Dussehra Festival, which dates back to the 17th century, will be organised from October 24 to October 30 at Kullu this year.
He said that the celebrations will commence with the famous Lord Raghunath ji's Rath Yatra, and more than 300 local deities will participate in the mega event. He further added that the major highlights of the festival will be the International Carnival on October 25 and the Kullu Carnival Fest on October 30.
The International Cultural Festival is a major attraction of the International Kullu Dussehra Festival, in which cultural troupes from over 20 countries, including Russia, Israel, Romania, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Panama, Iran, the Maldives, Malaysia, Kenya, South Sudan, Zambia, Ghana, and Ethiopia, have been invited to participate in the Dussehra festivities this year.
Thakur said, "The state government is making efforts to make the festival a global event and added that the "state is recovering from the aftermath of the disaster and is now ready to welcome the tourists to Kullu and Manali. He gave credit for the expedited efforts of restoration and rehabilitation to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu after the natural calamity.
He said that travel time from Chandigarh to Kullu has been reduced from six hours to four hours and added that 13 out of fifteen tunnels were open to commuters. The flights from Amritsar, Chandigarh, and Delhi to Kullu were operating to facilitate tourists, said Thakur.
Anu Ranjan Dy. Director General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations detailed the support being provided by the ICCR and cultural troupes performing in the festival. Shashi Pal Negi, Assistant Commissioner to Deputy Commissioner Kullu, welcomed the guests and briefed them about the background of the event.
Special guests from embassies, Nandita Gupta, Advisor, Government of Himachal Pradesh, and Sushil Kumar Singla, Principal Resident Commissioner, were present on the occasion.