ITANAGAR, Oct 22 - Tawang Festival, an annual mega tourism extravaganza, got underway at the historic town of Tawang on Friday with the chief guest, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal declaring the three day festival open in presence of a host of dignitaries, including US Ambassador to India Richard Verma and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu.
Celebrating the age-old relations between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Sonowal, in his address, said, �We are from the same family of North East India. So, we will have to stay together, work together and prosper together.�
He exhorted the youths to realise their potential through hard work and said that Tawang festival is an opportunity for them to explore their talent. �Tawang is not a just a place, but it�s the land of Gods. The place will shine and grow and will be able to carve her own destiny in future,� he said.
The Assam CM also spoke on various welfare initiatives being taken by the Centre for the North East under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Khandu, also the chief patron of the Tawang festival, said that Assam and Arunachal have maintained deep cultural ties from ages. So to celebrate this bonding, the Assam Chief Minister has been invited to be part of the festival, he said.
The CM appealed the people to cooperate with State Govt to make tourism industry a success in the State. He said though the State has high tourism potential but the communication bottleneck is one major impediment for the sector to flourish.
US envoy Verma earlier thanked the people of Arunachal and especially Tawang for extending invite to him, on behalf of American people and President Barack Obama. He said the US-India relation is on all time high and the country is looking towards India to work together in the field of tourism and technology.
Earlier, the festival began with Sebang, a religious procession of monks from Tawang Monastery to the festival ground. The arrival of the dignitaries was followed by inauguration of traditional games and sports and exhibition stalls.