Rajasthani fair starts in Kolkata

Kolkata: With camel rides on artificially-created sand dunes, folk music and dance, traditional food, a children`s carnival and a host of other attractions, a eight-day Rajasthani Mela `Aapno Gaaon` is set to enthrall revellers here till Dec 31.

`Aapno Gaaon`, inaugurated Dec 24, aims to bring the vibrant Rajasthani culture to the fore and connect the youth to their heritage.

"The youngsters are more into partying these days in clubs and discos. This has been a cause of concern among us and it resulted in the creation of a unique idea called "Aapno Gaaon" (which means our own village) where everyone can come together and bask in the festivities which celebrate our rich culture and tradition," said Pradeep Agarwal, convenor of Salt Lake Lok Sanskriti, the organisers.

The highlights of the fest at the sprawling grounds of Nicco Park in the satellite township of Salt Lake, will include `Chokhi Dhaani`, or kitchen of the fair, where guests will be served wholesome cuisine from the region in various courses, tight-rope walkers, performances by singer Ila Arun and her troupe and tribute to late film-maker Yash Chopra.

"This year it will be bigger as there is a big Bollywood presence. Actors Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma will also participate on Dec 30," said Agarwal.