Ukhrul: Scores of visitors thronged Shirui village to witness the inaugural ceremony of the 4th edition of Shirui Lily Festival in Ukhrul district in Manipur on Wednesday.
The festival is being celebrated to honour and raise awareness about the endangered state flower Shirui Lily, which is also locally known as Kashong Timrawon. The flower cannot be replanted anywhere else in the world, except in the upper range of Shirui Peak or Shirui Kashong.
On the opening day of the festival, more than 2,000 visitors, including a 68-year-old woman from Moidangpok village in Imphal West, scaled the Shirui Kashong Peak to have a glimpse of the blooming of the rare lily.
The flower blooms at the top of the peak from the last week of May through the second week of June. The state’s highest peak that lies at an altitude of 2,835 metre above the sea level is about a four-hour trek till the upper range.
Despite the rain, visitors were not deterred to trek up the peak and experience the serenity of nature enveloped with floating clouds.
“I have been coming to the hills since my youth days. And this time, we are a group of people from our locality and decided to trek up the Shirui peak,” said Rosita from Imphal West district.
According to locals, after two years of restriction owing to the pandemic, this year the peak has witnessed a record blooming of Shirui Lily.
Each year, the stunning landscape and presence of rich fauna and flora at the peak attracts many tourists from across the country and abroad.
The Shirui Youth Club is overseeing the ticketing, assisting trekkers, monitoring the peak and the blooming of lilies, and maintain the peak and keeping its surrounding areas clean. Also, prior to the lily blooming season, the local youth annually clear the footpath and the narrow track to ensure that visitors can trek smoothly to the peak.
Trekkers are also barred from carrying any objects which can harm the environment, especially the endangered Shirui Lily. Also, plucking or destroying of lily flower or plant will be fined.
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