Trivandrum: Kerala will be switched on to a festive mode in the peak tourism season as the whole state prepares to enthral both domestic and foreign tourists as well as its own citizens in a nearly month-long cultural fiesta.
Organised by the State Tourism Department, the ‘Utsavam’ cultural extravaganza will kick off today. It will be staged in 60 venues across all the 14 districts of Kerala. ‘Utsavam’(meaning festival in Malayalam), which was launched as an annual event in 2007 to promote traditional performing art forms of the state, will run up to January 19 next year.
“Utsavam is an event on a grand scale aimed to sustain and popularize the traditional art forms of Kerala, some of which are on the verge of decline,” said Kerala Tourism Minister, Shri A P Anilkumar.
“The festival is for the people of Kerala and our guests from outside the state and country,” added the Minister, who inaugurated the event on December 26 at the picturesque Bekal Fort in Kasargode. The inaugural day of ‘Utsavam’ saw the performance of ‘Rhythm of Kerala’, a dance medley based on tribal, classical and folk arts by seasoned artistes.
The first edition of ‘Utsavam’, held from December 2007 to March 2008 drew enthusiastic response from domestic and international travellers, marking a phenomenal debut. ‘Utsavam’ 2007 fetched Kerala Tourism the prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award in the heritage and culture category in 2008.
“This carefully planned event is also about taking the destination of Kerala to a higher level, so as to give an aesthetic experience to the visitors, appealing to their intellectual sensibilities,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary, Suman Billa.
“It is yet another occasion for the local people, travellers and art lovers to be part of an exciting cultural treat of this magnitude,” said Kerala Tourism Director, S Harikishore.
The programmes of ‘Utsavam’ are staged in different venues spread across all the 14 districts of the state to include the entire population of Kerala. More than 80 art forms will be staged and there will be 280 performances across the districts on all Saturdays and Sundays at 6 pm. Details available at www.keralatourism.org/utsavam/
Kerala Biz News