NT: Nepal: The third Sarangkot Festival began on Friday at Deurali Patan near the Sarangkot view tower, Kaski. The 10-day festival is being organized by Sarangkot Area Development Coordination Committee with Sarangkot Social Service Youth Club, Smriti Youth Club and Sarangkot Tourism Development Committee as the co-organizers.
The festival was inaugurated by former prime minister and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli amid a special program organized on Friday. Oli complimented the beauty of the area and expressed hope that it would grow as the next tourist spot because it holds all the potentials.
The festival started with a special performance by Sarya Khunda dance group. As many as 30 people from Chhatrakot Rural Municipality displayed the traditional Saraykhel Naach, with a shield and a sword as their main props.
The Saraykhel Naach is annually performed in Gulmi, Palpa and Arghakhanchi districts on Kojagrat Purnima, the last day of Dashain festival. One of the locals, Sobit Baniya, stated that the name Sarangkot was derived from the practice of Sarayakhel Nach, which was prevalent during the period of Kulmandan Shah.
Besides this, different ethnic groups also exhibited their dances at the festival. Men and women from Magar and Tamang community performed their respective traditional dances whereas young and elderly women dressed in their cultural attire welcomed the chief guest.
The festival features stalls that have local agricultural products, handicrafts and organic food on display. Until a few years ago, Sarangkot used to be the starting point of a trekking route to Annapurna Base Camp. But the route is no longer in use as trekkers choose to travel directly to Nayapul after new roads were built.
The main attraction of the festival on Friday was paragliding pilots flying their glider in forms of various gods and goddesses.
Meanwhile, Oli stressed on the need for development enthusiasts and political parties to work together and attract both domestic as well as international tourists for infrastructural development of the area.
He also shared his fondness toward Sarangkot, stating that every tourist must be introduced to the area’s beauty so that they visit again and increase business in the area.
Moreover, the festival has lured guests and tourists into staying in Sarangkot for a longer period.
The first two editions of the festival were organized in 1997 and 2007. The fest, however, could not be organized in a regular manner due to various technical and logistical problems, informed Director of Sarangkot Town Development and Organizational Coordination Committee, Suchil Joshi.
The festival is slated to end on September 10, Sunday.