The 2021 edition of Rhododendron Festival, a two-day event that aims at promoting, conserving and protecting the Rhododendron flowers got underway at Shergaon Village in the West Kameng district on Saturday.

The festival at Shergaon is jointly organised every year by the Sherdukpen community of West Kameng under the banner of Shergaon Rhododendron Festival Committee (SRFC).

The theme of this year’s event is “Tribute to our Ancestors”.

SRFC chairman Ledo Thungon said the motive behind the festival is to promote and create awareness on the importance of Rhododendron flowers.

The festival also aims at promoting tourism in the region, he said.

More than 30 species of Rhododendron are found in Arunachal Pradesh out of which eight are found only in West Kameng, Thungon said.

He said the Sherdukpen community has been organising the festival since 2018, however, there was a gap last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Guru Tulku Rinpoche of Bomdila Lower Gompa who attended the inaugural function as chief guest, appreciated the locals for organizing such an event to show their love and concern towards nature.

“Like the beautiful flower Rhododendron, we should preserve our culture and tradition as well,” he said.

Besides awareness programmes on Rhododendron, several other activities such as cycling, rock climbing, Sherdukpen pantomime, bird-watching, archery, cultural events, etc. are also a part of the two-day festival.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com