The six-day long Pachmarhi festival took off on Monday with a pageant comprising cultural programme and handicraft exposition.
Revenue Minister Kamal Patel, inaugurating the festival said that it would, besides giving an opportunity to the folk artistes from all over the country, would also prove memorable for the tourists.
Tribal dancers perform a folk dance while renowned Ghazal singer Chandan Das presented ghazals on the inaugural day. Patel said excellent handicraft pieces would be on display during the festival and hoped that the festival would carve a national-level identity of its own.
He said that new avenues of tourism development are being opened under the leader of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. MLA Madhukar Harne said that the festival would help develop Pachmarhi.
Divisional Commissioner B R Naidu wished success to the festival. Collector Faiz Ahmed Kidwai in his welcome speech said that artistes from various states, including UP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, would showcase their craft. As many as 78 stalls have been put in the festival, he added.
Special Area Development Authority (SADA) president Bhagwandas Dhoot and Hotels Association president Pankaj Jaiswal also addressed the gathering.