Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is set to inaugurate on Saturday the 19th edition of Hornbill Festival in Nagaland's Kisama village, around 12 km from the state capital, a top tourism department official said. Nagaland Governor P B Acharya will be the chief host on the occasion, while US Ambassador to India, Kenneth I Juster, has been invited as the guest of honour, Akhale Vizol, the additional director of the state tourism department, said.
The Nagaland government has earmarked Rs 5 crore for the festival, which will culminate on December 10. The celebrations and programmes have been scheduled in five districts of the state Kohima, Dimapur, Mokokchung, Phek and Wokha, she said. The annual festival unites one and all, while promoting the tourism prospects of the state, Vizol told reporters here.
The fest aims to display the rich traditions and the vibrant culture of Nagaland through colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies, the additional director of the tourism department said. Elaborating on the preparations, Tourism, Art & Culture Adviser Khehovi Yepthomi said the heritage village of Kisama has been made a plastic-free zone. He sought the support of every individual in the state to ensure the success of the 10-day fest.
Vizol said the visitor turnout to Kisama stood at 2.43 lakh last year, expressing hope that the number might swell this year. The tourism department along with Nagaland Police has tightened security in Kisama and other parts of the state in view of the Hornbill festival. More than 600 artists will be performing over the course of 10 days, she added.
(With inputs from agencies.)