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One more reason to visit Mahal

R. Sairam

Folk arts performance on weekends attracts steady stream of foreign tourists



STEADY GALLOP:'Poikkal kuthirai' being performed at King Tirumalai Naick Palace in Madurai on Friday.

MADURAI: Folk arts performances being organised at King Tirumalai Naick Palace here on weekends by the State Tourism Department is attracting a steady stream of foreign tourists.

The ‘Seasonal Weekly Tourist Festival' began on December 17 and would be held on all Fridays and Saturdays till January 29 at the Palace, popularly known as Mahal.

The show is being organised from 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., considered to be a convenient timing as it would be followed by the Sound and Light show in English at 6.45 p.m.

The second weekend on this Friday saw around 50 foreign tourists and 200 domestic ones witnessing the performance.

Officials say that the earlier version of this event, ‘Theruvora Thiruvizha,' which saw folk art shows on streets around Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, elicited a good response.

A translation of the programme in English would be provided to foreign tourists prior to the event.

This programme is being popularised among hotels and travel operators across the country.

An official said that the Tourism Department was keen on developing this initiative further in order to showcase the State's rich culture and heritage, a major draw among foreigners. After assessing the response, it could be made into an annual affair.

Madurai received 35,000 foreign tourists every year, a figure growing at an annual rate of five per cent, according to official estimates. Domestic tourist arrivals have been pegged at 60 lakh.

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