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Ganga Water Rally is back after 7 years

Uttar Pradesh's famous Ganga Water Rally is back after a gap of seven years as UP Tourism Department revives the prestigious water sports adventure activity, reports Pankaj Jaiswal.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2009 23:01 IST

Uttar Pradesh's famous Ganga Water Rally is back after a gap of seven years as UP Tourism Department revives the prestigious water sports adventure activity. With this two major water activities got revived this year-first the Ganga cruise from Kolkata and Varanasi, and now the water rally between Allahabad and Varanasi.

Ganga cruise that took place in October occurred after a gap of 200 years while the water rally was last held in 2002. The rally will be held from November 7 to November 9.

Kayaking, canoeing and rowing events would be held apart from the mega event-the water rally from Allahabad to Varanasi. The rally will have seven teams. The rally in its last leg (when it remains 45 km away from Varanasi) would turn into a marathon race.

"We have revived the event as it has a major adventure tourism potential. It used to be a popular rally that used to attract foreign tourists as well. In fact, a couple of times foreign teams too participated in the rally. We would like it to scale up to attract foreign teams once again," said Avanish Awasthi, the director general, Tourism, UP.

The three-day event will also have attractive cultural activities to add more fun and celebration to the event.

"There will be a boat race, best decorated boat contest, and also display of some other water sports. And cultural troupes from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Allahabad would provide and musical and dance entertainment," said Amit, the Regional
Tourism Officer, Allahabad.

The mega event-the rally-will run for three days. It will start in the morning of November 7 from Boat Club, Allahabad. The boats are scheduled to reach Mirzapur in the evening and stay overnight there. Next morning the teams would restart the rally and reach Chunar by the evening. On the morning of November 9, the seven teams would begin their journey to Varanasi. The rally, 45 km ahead of the destination, would turn into a speed event. The last 45 km would be marathon race.

State tourism minister, Vinod Singh would inaugurated the event while Institutional finance minister; Nand Gopal Gupta would preside over. Gupta hails from Allahabad.

The tradition of the rally began in 1997 and the annual event was held till 2002. The tourism department officials say there were no valid reasons for the breaking the tradition.

There would also be an event for mallahas (boatmen community) to participate. They would compete with each other in their country boats.