It was like any other ordinary beach a decade ago. But now Cherai has carved a niche for itself on the tourism map.

People from all walks of life throng the beach on week-ends in general and during vacations and other holidays in particular.

The 10-day Cherai Beach Tourism Mela 2013, organized by the Pallipuram grama panchayat, will kickstart from Sunday. Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan will inaugurate the tourism mela on Sunday at 5 p.m. A cultural procession will be taken out to the beach at 3 p.m.

As part of Tsunami Day commemoration, a ‘peace light’ will be lit at the Janakeeya Vayanasala at 5 p.m., followed by a cultural meet inaugurated by former Justice K. Sukumaran. Sippi Pallipuram, the Malayalam children’s story writer, will preside. Kathakali will be staged at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalakshmi will perform at a musical programme at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Deputy Mayor B. Bhadra will inaugurate a women’s meet on Saturday at 6 p.m. Kathaprasangam by Madhurima Unnikrishnan will also be held at 8 p.m. On Sunday, December 29, the main highlight of the mela will be the Kurash Open Championship at 5 p.m., which will be inaugurated by former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler. Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar will present the prizes.

The curtain will come down on the mela on December 31. Gajamela will be held at 5 p.m.

Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas will inaugurate valedictory meeting at 6 p.m. Fireworks will herald the New Year.

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