Heritage walks, vintage cars and Rusty at Mussoorie carnival

Dehradun: Musical evenings, heritage walks, mountain biking, plays and a chance to meet author Ruskin Bond -- that is what the four-day festival, set to begin Dec 27 in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, will offer.

The ministry of tourism and culture of Uttarakhand and the city board of Mussoorie have jointly organised this "Winterline Carnival". The festival gets its name from winterline, a unique winter phenomenon where the horizon has a mauve-and-grey strip at sunset. It can be viewed in the hills from October to January.

The play `Ghalib` in which thespian Tom Alter plays the lead role of the popular Urdu poet, will be staged on the first day. A musical performance by percussionist and drummer A. Shivamani, sitarist Arvind Chary and pianist Stephan Devassy will also lure visitors.

The second day`s programme comprises a fashion show, heritage walk, running, cycling and mountain biking, to take in the beauty of nature.

In a statement released ahead of the festival, the organisers said one of the highlights of the festival is a chance to have tea with author Ruskin Bond, creator of Rusty, the orphaned Anglo-Indian boy whose adventures many stories by Bond tell.

On the last day, there will be a vintage car rally, painting competitions and live performance by Bollywoood singer Arijit Singh whose songs feature in movies like "Aashiqui 2".

The organisers hope the festival will draw more tourists to Mussoorie.

"Mussoorie has the potential to develop as a unique winter destination as well. The uniqueness arises not just from the natural winterline phenomenon at Mussoorie but also the bright sunshine that is typically the norm in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand throughout the winter months," Sandeep Sahni, member of Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, said in a statement.

B.V.R.C. Purushottam, district magistrate, Dehradun, echoed similar sentiments.

"We are trying to make the visit of tourists even more special by showcasing all that we have to offer in terms of beauty, culture and arts," he said.

The festival will end Dec 30.