4 day-long state level Shirui Lily festival kicks off at Ukhrul district
4 day-long state level Shirui Lily festival kicks off at Ukhrul district

Ukhrul: A four-day 4th edition of the state-level Shirui Lily Festival has kickstarted at Heritage Center Vangayan, Shirui village, in Manipur’s Ukhrul district on Wednesday. The festival is being held after a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor of Manipur La Ganesan and Chief Minister N Biren Singh attended the inaugural event of the festival as chief guest and president, respectively.

The festival is being organised by the department of tourism in collaboration with Ukhrul district administration and Shirui village authority.

Addressing the gathering, Governor Ganesan, who is visiting the village for the first time, lauded the state government for making the Shirui Lily, the state flower of Manipur, as a brand.

Governor Ganesan said the Shirui Lily Festival is annually celebrated in Manipur and features music, traditional games and other cultural activities which also aims to increase awareness about this rare flower and develop sustainable and responsible tourism in Manipur. Because of its rarity, it has now become a well-known flower, he said.

The flower is found only on top of Shirui Hill of Ukhrul district in Manipur.

The Governor said the ICAR has taken up tissue culture of this plant and hopes to perpetuate this plant not only in the original habitat but also in laboratory conditions. The focus on global warming and climate change and its impact on the Lily including remedial measures is laudable and felt it’s now most timely, he said.

Speaking at the programme, CM N Biren Singh said the state government has already sanctioned Rs 46 crore under the Minority Affairs, PMJVK scheme, for the construction of Shirui Heritage Village and upgradation of Bakshi ground. The said project will soon be taken place, he said.

The CM also informed that construction of cable cars at Loktak and Shirui are in the pipeline.

During the festival, around 100 stalls displaying indigenous products by local entrepreneurs have been set up at the two venues.

For the first time, the festival also gives opportunity to promote the adoption of Haofa, an endangered Tangkhul dog breed, and encouraging rearing of Mithun, which is very special for the people of Tangkhul community.

Other features during the festival includes Miss Shirui Lily beauty contest, cycling, marathon, 7 A-side football, essay writing, music and many more. Special appearances by Miss Universe 3rd runner up Adline Castenino as showstopper at the opening fashion show and The Monument, a British-based rock band, at Bakshi ground on May 28 evening are some of the few highlights.

The festival was also attended by ministers Th Biswajit, Letpao Haokip, Khashim Vashum, HAC chairman D Gangmei, MLAs Ram Muivah, Leishiyo Keishing, Sagolsem Kebi Devi, Sheikh Noorul Hassan, Radheshyam Yumnam, DGP P Doungel, additional chief secretary MH Khan, Tangkhul Naga Long president David Shimray and officials, among others.

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