Imphal: The 3rd edition of the Cosmos Flower Festival was held at Naamai Zho, the adopted home to thousands of cosmos flowers of varied colours, in Manipur’s Senapati district on Sunday.

The one-day festival was organised by the Naamai Eco-Tourism Society (NETS) in collaboration with the Maram Battalion of Assam Rifles. Major General VK Nambiar, YSM, SM IGAR (East), along with Shivanand Surve, Superintendent of Police, Senapati, and Colonel Aditya Deo of the Maram Battalion, graced the festival.

The festival was also attended by KS Solomon and H Poukho, chairmen of Upper Koide village and Lower Koide village, respectively.

The second edition of the Cosmos Flower Festival was held in Ukhrul district’s Paorei village.

Naamai Zho, a picturesque grassland with vibrant cosmos flowers and neighbouring paddy fields, is now a top tourist spot. Situated in Koide village, roughly 5-6 km away from Maram Bazar along National Highway 2, this year Naamai Zho attracted more than 5,000 visitors from various backgrounds who came to admire the breathtaking display of cosmos flowers.

“Inspired by the COVID-19 lockdown as a silver lining for social transformation, the Koide Women Society manually transformed the barren valley, introducing and nurturing its habitation with motherly affection,” said Y. Mathew, president of NETS.

The present-day cosmos bloom is a symbol of ‘resilience,’ a living testimony of how connecting with mother nature and embracing her creates a beautiful connection—a divine love story between humans and nature,” Mathew added.

The festival also featured storytelling about the genesis of cosmos bloom, a spot painting competition, a photography contest, and a short video contest on the theme ‘Cosmos Bloom at Naamai Zho’ during the day.

Stalls for the exhibition and sale of traditional cuisines and beverages added spice to the event.

The highlight of the festival was Musika Cosmos: An inter-ethnic tribe music festival featuring renowned artists Thangmeiso Shinglai, Ninshimphy Muivah, and Boikim Haokip, along with a host of local artists who enthralled the visitors with their popular songs to promote communal harmony and peaceful co-existence, in line with the government’s policy to promote Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat.

Drawing inspiration from rural-heritage tourism and speaking of the future roadmap, Ng Ngaorai, project consultant, NETS, shared, “The primary guiding principle of the festival is to promote sustainable, responsible, and inclusive tourism, which will encompass all the initiatives to make Naamai Zho one of the top tourist destinations.”

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“Our mission is to bring all possible tourism activities and stakeholders together to achieve sustainable tourism that creates opportunities for sustainable livelihood for the marginalised sections of society,” he added.

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