3-day boat race festival in Varanasi from Jan 17 - Varanasi News
by IANS | Updated Jan 10, 2023
The event will also have hot air ballooning, paramotor gliding and other similar adventurous activities.
Releasing the logo of the event titled 'Kashi Balloon and Boat Festival', the state tourism department said in a release that it is expected to be a major tourist attraction and it will also be the most adventurous event of the year.
Priti Srivastava, deputy director-tourism, Varanasi, said that it is being held on the lines of Kerala's Vallam Kali.
"Boat races are expected to be the major crowd-puller. Local boatmen, largely from the Majhi community, have been divided into 12 teams for the contests. We have roped in experts from other states where boat racing is a mainstream sport. They would also be inducted into the teams to give a professional touch to the races and make the entire event even more sporting," she said.
The 12 teams are named Gangaputra, Navik Sena, Kashi Lahiri, Jal Yodhas, Kashi Keepers, Ganga Lahiri, Nauka Riders, Jal Sena, Ganga Vahini, Bhagirathi Sevaks, Haumukh Giants and Ghat Keepers.
Srivastava added the races would take place in an area stretching over 3 km, starting from Dashashmedh Ghat to Raj Ghat and covering Kashi Vishwanath Dham, Mehta Ghat and Panch Ganga Ghat.
For the hot air balloon fest, the tourism department has roped in agencies from five countries, including the US, Japan and Canada.
"Pilots from five countries and 12 from different parts of India will work to make the festival a grand affair," added Srivastava.
This is the second time when the tourism department is organising a hot air balloon festival in Varanasi.
In the 2021 event, eight pilots from abroad and six from India had taken part.
The balloons will take off and land at Central Hindu Boys School, Ramnagar and the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) grounds.
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