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Updated: January 16, 2010 20:36 IST

It’s festival time in Jaipur

Special Correspondent
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Foriegn tourist posing with folk artist Ramnarain Chaudhary at the kite festival in Jaipur on Thursday. Photo: Rohit Paras Jain
The Hindu Foriegn tourist posing with folk artist Ramnarain Chaudhary at the kite festival in Jaipur on Thursday. Photo: Rohit Paras Jain

The prestigious Jaipur Heritage International Festival was re-launched this Makar Sankranti day with additional attractions.

The ten-day event, “re-designed” by Jaipur Virasat Foundation with the support of civil society organisations and the Rajasthan Government, would also coincide with the four-day Jaipur Literature Festival being held from January 21 to 24.

The Heritage Festival indeed had a flying start with myriad kites dotting the Pink City’s skyline. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje joined the celebrations variously—flying kites, sharing the festive ‘til laddu,’ and also by trying to mitigate the misery of the homeless from the biting cold by gifting them blankets.

Hailed by heritage and culture experts as “the only real city festival of India,” the Jaipur Heritage International Festival this year is incorporating the essence of the Walled City of Jaipur besides the arts and crafts of the whole of Rajasthan. The organisers also promise that at least for the next four years they would stick to the present calendar -- from January 14 to 24.

“The Jaipur Heritage International Festival will promote Jaipur and Rajasthan worldwide as heritage destinations. A city festival like this can bring people together on a common platform and also contribute substantially to the economy,” notes Rajiv Arora, chairman of the festival committee.

“The Festival and the partners, Vikas and Virasat, want to affirm that Rajasthan’s heritage is one of our prime assets. Let us invest it for the benefit of the State and, more importantly, for the toiling craftsmen and artisans,” says Faith Singh, founder-trustee of the Jaipur Virasat Foundation. “It is an attempt at better leveraging of our rich heritage to reduce poverty,” she added.

As part of the festival, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is scheduled to inaugurate an exhibition this coming Tuesday showcasing key initiatives taken in the past for conservation of some of the finest specimens of architecture in the State. A seminar scheduled for the day will have a delegation of heritage experts from France including Senator Yves Dauge and Minja Yang, founder of the Indian Heritage Cities Network, as participants.

One of the highlights of the festival will be the Heritage Walk through the Walled City of Jaipur, to be led by the Mayor, on January 23. The highlight of the last day will be a marathon to be organised by Sanskriti and the World Trade Park. This Sunday a car rally titled “Give us too an equal chance” will find visually challenged people as navigators.

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