The Shirui Lily festival will introduce paragliding, possibly the first-of-its-kind adventure sport facility in the state Credit: EastMojo image

Ukhrul: The countdown has begun as Manipur is all set to witness the third edition of ‘Shirui Lily’ festival in Ukhrul, one of the most extravagant celebrations of the state, in form of music, cultural activities, indigenous food and various adventure activities like camping and biking, among others.

The festival is observed mainly with an aim to spread awareness and conserve the endangered state flower ‘Shirui Lily’ as well as to promote the hill district of Ukhrul as a potential tourist destination. Locally known as Kashong Timrawon, the lily is said to be found only at Shirui peak, one of the highest peaks in Ukhrul, which makes even more unique and different from other lilium species.

Organised by the state tourism department, the four-day festival, which is scheduled from October 16 to 19, is set to create another history with organisers trying to make the festival as a confluence of different cultural and musical events.

Shirock, one of the vital components of the fest, is the talk of the town as the rock fest is headlining the two most powerful and celebrated global rock bands during the festival.

While Extreme, an American rock band will be making its India debut with the festival on the closing night, Scottish-origin Nazareth band is said to be performing for the second time in the country with their earlier performed in Mizoram in 2017.

On Friday, EastMojo team made a field visit and reported from the ground on how the hill town is all prepping up for the most-awaited festival of the season in the state.

“We are expecting at least 30,000 people from across the state and the country, including few from other countries during the festival. Nazareth will be performing on the opening night whereas Extreme band will perform on the closing night. And for the remaining days, we have rock band competition with 22 artists from the northeast region. We also have the Voice, a solo hunt competition during the festival,” said Venkat, event manager, Shirock.

Meanwhile, for those who wish to overcome height phobia, the festival is also to introduce paragliding, possibly the first-of-its-kind adventure sport facility in the state.

Ahead of the Shirui Lily festival from October 16 to 19, volunteers of Shirui village cleaning up the peak on Friday

Initiated by the Hornbill Travels, a Delhi-based travel and tour agency, this adventure sports facility is a non-motorised, foot-launched form of free-flying high above the sky with an inflatable lightweight wing.

As informed by Mashungam Shimray, a proprietor of the travel agency, “Since Ukhrul town often faced acute shortages of cash in ATMs and to address the issues during the festival, we are also providing card swiping machine during spot registration to our clients.”

Besides, ‘Miss Lily’ beauty pageant, the festival will also showcase the rich culture and traditions of the Tangkhul Naga community.

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