NALBARI,Dec 9 � The 12- day Raas Festival of Nalbari Sri Sri Harimandir, which began on November 28, came to an end tonight.
The annual Raas Festival of Nalbari Harimandir complex which has been over the years drawing massive response from all walks of life irrespective of cast, creed and religion, sadly fails to draw government�s attention. The Nalbari Raas Mahotsav, a large cultural and religious event of North-East which has now become a symbol of communal harmony should be developed as a tourism festival. The Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who came to opened the Nalbari Raas in 2008 and 2010 had declared that the Nalbari Raas Mahotsav would be included in list of State�s tourisim festivals and the historic spots of the district would be developed for the tourist attraction. But no step has been taken in this regard so far.
The Nalbari Raas which starts from the fullmoon night of autumn annually draws a host of tourists from different parts of the country. Even a good number of foreign tourists, especially from Bhutan, Nepal regularly come to enjoy the festival. A cultural troupe from Argentina enthralled the visitors of Nalbari Raas performing folk songs. One of the main tourist attractions is the cultural procession in the inaugural night of the Nalbari Raas where different communities of the district-Bodo, Rabha, Nepali, Santhal, and tea tribe, in addition to the general communities, showcase their customs and traditional folk dances.
Meanwhile, the Nalbari Harimandir Committee with a view to attract tourists has come up with an ambitious project to develope the mandir site as an important place for tourists. The site plan project report and scheme have been submitted to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Ministry Tourism, and the Ministry Human Resources Developmen. The project includes a guest house, a prayer house, a meditation hall, a Vedic school, a library, a super market, a park, a music school, a museum and an auditorium. However, the State Government has taken no step so far. The secretary of Raas Celebration Committee, Subodh Deka, said that the this year huge crowds visited the Harimandir to witness the Raas Festival.The committee also took some special steps to attract the visitors.