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Artistes arrive for holy fest

Foreign artistes have arrived in Bodhgaya to perform at the three-day Bodh Mahotsava, scheduled from Tuesday.

A 27-member troupe from Sri Lanka, a seven-member group from Thailand and a group from Dharamsala are in Bodhgaya. Performers from Myanmar, South Korea and Bhutan would arrive on Monday.

Apart from classical, sufi, qawwaali and folk, sand art by Sudarshan Patnaik would be a major attraction.

Preparations are on in full swing for the fest, which would be inaugurated by chief minister Nitish Kumar on February 4 evening.

Artistes have been brought in from Delhi to prepare the stage with Buddhist architecture in the background. Sources said the stage would have a 3D effect.

LCD screens would also be installed at the Kalchakra grounds to help the audience sitting at a distance get a closer view of the performances. District magistrate Balamurugan D. on Sunday reviewed preparations with other officials, including Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nishant Kumar Tiwari.

The district magistrate stressed on cleanliness of the heritage city. He said: “No tourist likes to see litter on the streets. Polythene must be removed from the roads as it affects the environment too.”

He directed Bodhgaya nagar panchayat executive officer Sanjay Kumar Lal to make Bodhgaya a polythene-free zone from February 4.

He also directed to ensure proper accommodation, transportation and food for the artistes arriving in Bodhgaya. The SSP directed officials to ensure proper security.

The event would be inaugurated with Bihar Gaurav Gaan followed by performances by artistes from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar and South Korea. Bade Gazi Khan group from Rajasthan, New Delhi-based Samanvay dance group, Bangalore’s Nrityarutya dance group and Wadali Brothers from Amritsar would perform on Day I.