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Fairs, Festivals, Melas

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People throng Ranikor to enjoy beach festival
by Vibhou Ganguly

     Ranikor (Meghalaya): Hordes of people thronged the two-day beach festival being held in Ranikor in Meghalaya to enjoy host of activities like rock climbing, sand sculpturing, beach volleyball and swimming. "I really enjoy myself organizing these kinds of things because I get to know mostly the local people, to interact with them, to see that they also get the chance to enjoy like the people of Shillong enjoy during the autumn festivals. So its mostly for the people of this area," said Mary Phanwar, an organiser. Called a state of hills, Meghalaya also has a beach at a place called Ranikor bordering Bangladesh some 150 kilometers away from Shillong. "It is a wonderful way to attract tourists to this place. I have been here a several of times before. It is a very serene and quiet place. But now with the publicity and these kind of festivals, they will attract not only the tourists but will also generate income for the people," said Aldos Mawlong, a tourist. This beach festival is different in that one has to make up to the beach by crossing over the sparkling water of the river 'Ranikota' in a hired boat. The festival hosts activities like rock climbing, sand sculpting, beach Queen Contest, beach ball competition and the unforgettable musical concerts. Hundreds of people flocked the venue dancing to the tunes of the music played around. "Festivals like this promote trade. Next year as I said we are also expecting international tourists. I actually meant people from Bangladesh also. We do hope and I think it is a positive step. We will see improvement in relationships with Bangladesh," said Conrad Sangma, Tourism Minister, Meghalaya. First held in 2007, the beach festival has since become an annual affair.
-Jan 14, 2009

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