Images of royal era at heritage fest

Local girls set the tempo for the inaugural ceremony by getting the ‘jago’ (flame) to light up the inaugural lamp from the ‘jyot’ in the Quila Androon which has been burning for nearly 200 years. The girls sang traditional couplets espousing the sanctity of the occasion besides performing giddha with the lighted Durbar Hall in the background.

The inaugural lamp was lit by Punjab Governor Justice O P Verma (retd). He was accompanied by state Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, his wife Preneet Kaur, Tourism Minister Ashwini Sekhri, INTACH vice president S K Misra and Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh.

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor picked up the thread from the earlier speech of the Chief Minister who had dwelt upon the fact that an attempt was made to preserve the heritage of the city earlier in 1995 – 96 but that the Akali – BJP government had put a stop to this activity after it came to power.

The Governor said it was the fundamental duty of every government to make all efforts to preserve the country’s rich cultural heritage. He said this duty had been neglected till last year when the present government had taken the initiative to hold cultural festivals for all three zones of Malwa, Doaba and Majha in the state.

Justice Verma said even he did not know about the existence of the Quila Mubarak until he came to the city. He said steps should be taken to make people aware of the rich heritage of the State. He also urged the Patiala Heritage Society which is conducting the festival to host a light-and sound programme in the Quila Mubarak premises itself to depict the history of the city.

Earlier, the Chief Minister said it was unfortunate that ‘sangeet gharanas’ were on the wane. He said he had got the opportunity to listen to a Sham Chauraisia gharana geet of Kapurthala while on a visit to Pakistan. He urged the people of the city to get their children to the classical performances saying that was the only way the heritage of the city and its people could be preserved.

The Quila Mubarak complex looked resplendent today with lights showcasing the quila ramparts and the gates of the Quila Mubarak and the Quila Androon.

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