North East Festival attracts enthusiastic crowds at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi
Despite the winter chill, thousands of visitors flocked to attend the ongoing North East Festival (NEF) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Sunday.
GUWAHATI: Despite the winter chill, thousands of visitors flocked to attend the ongoing North East Festival (NEF) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Sunday.
After two years of pandemic-induced lull, the festival is back in its vibrant avatar. The four-day carnival, which began on December 23, has witnessed impressive footfall of foodies, shoppers, and music and travel enthusiasts, according to sources here. Curious visitors were seen enquiring about travel prospects and packages, while several showed interest to learn about the rich culture and heritage of the region through professional tourism courses.
"I have read about North-East India but never got a chance to visit the region. However, I would love to plan a trip to the tea gardens of Assam. I tasted some regional varieties at the North East Festival and was amazed to know about their origin and other details. My favourite was Bluepea tea and Singpho tribe's Phalap tea. I even ordered a few kg of different varieties from two stalls at the festival. I also bought a couple of Naga and Manipuri attires. The motifs, fabric, and colours are mindblowing," the sources quoted an aspiring fashion designer, Chandni Makhija, as saying at the venue.
Supreme Court advocate Harkrishna Nahata and his family and friends were seen indulging in juicy Pork Ribs, Fish Fry, and Chicken Momos, paired with Zutho [Naga rice beer] and enjoying the winter sun. The sources said that when asked if this was their first at the festival, Nahata replied, "NEF is like our home; we attend it every year. This time I even got my friends to see the vibrant culture of the region. I have been to Meghalaya, Manipur, and Assam. Next year I am planning for Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh with a group of ten friends. I love the North-East and its people; they are extremely humble, hospitable, and loving. I usually prefer staying at homestays. I am in talks with a travel agency and super excited to be exploring Shergaon in Arunachal; which has been on my list for a long time".
The North East Festival has always aimed to build a formidable investment climate to transform the economic fortunes of the region and create a flourishing business and tourism destination in India. Chief organizer of the festival Shyamkanu Mahanta said, "We want to make an important contribution to the economic development of the region and provide opportunities for tourism and commercial outcomes by showcasing our diverse culture and heritage through various initiatives, such as B2B meets, tourism awareness programmes, and showcasing our food, music, art and craft. We have been able to help bring out the tourism potential of North-East region and connect travel enthusiasts with tour and travel entrepreneurs. I strongly feel our festival has the full potential to boost tourism in the region".
The sources said that Firingoti Curated Tours by Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty and Anuj Kumar Boruah, who are into high-end experiential curated tours exclusively designed for North-East India, received queries from tour operators and travelers about their offerings and packages. The sources quoted Firingoti co-founder Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty as saying, "We provide bespoke services to traveler looking to explore the region in its true sense and go beyond Instagram updates. North East Festival has helped us to connect with potential travel operators and tourists alike".