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Cultural extravaganza "Utsavam" begins Sunday


Thiruvananthapuram: Starting Sunday, Kerala will witness a cultural extravaganza, held at 60 venues across the state, where more than 80 art forms will be staged, and 280 performances staged.

Organised by the state tourism department, the "Utsavam" extravaganza was first launched as an annual event in 2007 to promote traditional performing art forms of the state. This year, the festival will run till Jan 19 in all 14 districts of the state.

The extravaganza coincides with the period when the state is flooded with tourists, both domestic and international.

"'Utsavam' is an event on a grand scale, aimed to sustain and popularise the traditional art forms of Kerala, some of which are on the verge of decline. The festival is for the people of Kerala and our guests from outside the state and country," said state Tourism Minister A.P. Anilkumar.

The first edition of "Utsavam" in 2007 fetched Kerala Tourism the prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award in the heritage and culture category in 2008.

"This carefully planned event is also about taking the destination of Kerala to a higher level, so as to give an aesthetic experience to the visitors, appealing to their intellectual sensibilities," said Kerala Tourism secretary Suman Billa.

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