LUCKNOW: : Braving the intense cold conditions, the three-day Gorakhpur Mahotsava took off to a roaring start at Gorakhpur University ground after being inaugurated by Governor Ram Naik inaugurated it through mobile phone from state capital Lucknow as he could not fly down to Gorakhpur due to inclement weather on Thursday.
However, irrigation minister, Dharam Pal Singh represented the Governor in the inaugural ceremony. CM Yogi Adityanath is likely to attend the gala event, based on the theme – 'aa roh tamso jyoti (From darkness to light), on the concluding day on Saturday. This is the third episode of the three-day extravaganza which is being organised on such a huge scale for the first time hosting a bevy of Bollywood star singers and performers in Yogi land.
With an aim to promote Gorakhpur as cultural and commercial hub to bolster local economy of eastern UP, presents merely shift of scenario from Safai (ex-CM Akhilesh Yadav’s native village) to Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanth’s home turf, as far as opulence of mahotsavas in UP is concerned.
While Safai used to hog limelight and hit the controversies at the same time due to its extravagance, Gorakhpur Mahotsav had been a low key affair during the last two years. It is for the first time that it will have Bollywood attraction.
Organised by the state government, the inaugural day of the festival will conclude with the show of popular Bollywood composer–singer Shankar Mahadevan. The second day’s attraction will be a special Bhojpuri night starring famous actor-performer Ravi Kishen, who had taken BJP membership during 2017 UP elections. Besides, singers like Shaan, Lalit Pandit, Bhoomi Trivedi, Anuradha Paudwal and comic artist Jimi Moses will also be performing during the mahotsav.
“The main idea behind the festival was to promote tourism, ethnic culture, craft and cuisine in Gorakhpur," said Anil Kumar, commissioner, Gorakhpur division. "In fact, there are many firsts to the Mahotsava.
While UP Athletics Association has been roped in to conduct sports events, paramotoring and hot air balloon show and book fair will be the other attractions," he added.
According to organising authorities, the festival had been designed to encompass a mega trade fair and variety of activities and events ranging from children’s festival to various academic, sports, and cultural inter school competitions. Even local artists would be given ample space to showcase their talent. The Mahotsav will conclude at the Gorakhdham Mandir on Saturday in the presence of CM Adityanath Yogi.