The five-day Manali Winter Carnival in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district began Wednesday, an official spokesperson said.
The popular carnival, one of India's oldest, got underway as chief minister Jai Ram Thakur flagged off the carnival parade from circuit house in Manali after offering prayers at the famous Hidimba Mata temple, the official said.
Ahead of the inauguration, Beas Aarti puja was performed at nature park complex in Mohal on Tuesday evening, the official added.
Organised annually to attract tourists during the winter season, the carnival provides an opportunity to experience the rich culture of the hill-state, the official said, adding that adequate police personnel were deployed to maintain law and order.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said the festival had gained popularity amongst foreign tourists as well and highlighted that more than 100 Mahila Mandals had participated in the procession.
The women groups had promoted different social causes including cleanliness, cow protection, women empowerment and environment conservation among others.
Thakur further said that the nation as well as Himachal needed the "visionary leadership" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for another ten years to ensure that India becomes a great power in the world.
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