After a two-year shutdown caused by the Covid virus, the Ukhrul district of Manipur is set to host the Shirui Lily Festival, 2022, which is arguably the second largest tourism festival in the northeastern state after the Sangai Festival.
The five-day festival will kick off on Wednesday as Manipur Governor La Janesan kicks off the inaugural program in Shiroi village.
Officials said the festival is trying to promote sustainable tourism and give impetus to conservation efforts for the Shiroi Lili state flower, which is endemic to the Kachung Hills in Shiroi Village.
Tourism director W Ebohal said preparations for the festival were almost complete except for the final touches.
He said the Bakshi grounds in the town of Okroll will be the venue for Shirock, 2022, one of the main highlights of the festival. Shirock is a rock festival in which bands from all over the country compete for the title of Shirock. British progressive band, Monuments, will headline the final day of Shirock this year.
The tourism director further said that the TNL grounds had been chosen as another venue for the festival. It will host football exhibition matches.
Unlike previous editions, there will be programs about the endangered Haofa, a breed of indigenous Tangkhul dog (Tangkhul Hui), and their importance in the Tangkhul community.
The tourism director said organizers have included adventure sports such as downhill and mountain biking to provide more options for visitors.
When asked about the expected number of tourists, the manager said that the turnout of out-of-state tourists is likely to be lower this year.
He recounted that there was an increase in tourist turnout when rock bands such as “Nazareth” and “Extreme” Shirock in 2019.