More than 2.39 lakh people have visited the ongoing 'Hornbill Festival', a major annual function showcasing the culture, arts, artifacts, handicrafts and food of Nagaland at the Kisama village in Kohima, an official said today.
The 'Hornbill Festival' is held every year from December 1 to 10 at the Kisama village here.
Till yesterday 2,39,901 visitors including 2,799 foreigners have visited the festival ground at Kisama here, Assistant Director of Tourism Department, Toka E Tuccumi said.
Last year 2,702 foreigners and 37,500 domestic tourists had visited the festival while this year already 2,799 foreigners and 49,674 domestic tourists had visited till yesterday, Mr. Tuccumi said.
A total of 76,645 visitors, including 192 foreigners, 22,464 domestic tourists and 54,989 locals thronged the picturesque village to witness the festivities yesterday, Mr. Tuccumi said.
Union Ministers Jitendra Singh and Kiren Rijiju had visited the 'Hornbill Festival' on Saturday. Mr Singh said participation of such a large number of people has not only boosted the economy but also enthused young Start-Up groups from across India to explore avenues of entrepreneurship and livelihood in this region.
Mr Singh attributed the huge success of the event to the personal outreach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 'who had brought Northeast to national focus in the last five years'. Mr Singh, the Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region hoped that Nagaland through the Hornbill festival will become the 'torchbearer' of the new cultural journey of North East.
Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju had also visited the festival ground on Saturday. Mr Rijiju said the festival depicted the rich cultural heritage of Naga people.
'People across the world have started to study the Hornbill festival', Mr Rijiju said, adding that the Hornbill festival is a rare occasion where everyone can enjoy the ethnicity of the Nagas at one place.