Ma­nipur set for Shirui Lily Fes­ti­val

Ma­nipur will cel­e­brate its State Flower– Shirui Lily at the Shirui Lily Fes­ti­val from May 16-20, 2017, in Ukhrul district. Dr. Sa­pam Ran­jan Singh, Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary (Tourism), Govt. of Ma­nipur, ex­plains why the flower is revered in the state.

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Live mu­sic, cul­tural shows, beauty pageants, ex­hibits, folk songs, tra­di­tional dances and indige­nous games and sports com­pe­ti­tions like the Shirui Lily Grand Prix will be a part of the cel­e­bra­tion this year.

The fes­ti­val is be­ing spon­sored by the Depart­ment of Tourism, Ma­nipur, and or­gan­ised by the Shirui Lily Fes­ti­val Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee. It is be­ing will be or­gan­ised at the state level for the first time un­der Ma­nipur Tourism in­forms Dr. Sa­pam Ran­jan Singh, Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary (Tourism), Govt. of Ma­nipur. “We recog­nise the im­por­tance of Shirui Lily as the State Flower of Ma­nipur and the cel­e­bra­tion is a part of our en­deav­our to de­velop and im­ple­ment sus­tain­able and re­spon­si­ble tourism in the State and save the en­dan­gered Shirui Lily. We are there­fore con­cen­trat­ing on in­creas­ing the aware­ness lev­els of trav­ellers through pro­mo­tional cam­paigns tar­geted at spe­cific mar­kets.”

To pro­mote the fes­ti­val, the depart­ment is fo­cus­ing its pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties on ad­ver­tise­ments, dis­sem­i­na­tion of in­for­ma­tion about Ukhrul district sup­ported by height­ened pub­lic re­la­tions ac­tiv­i­ties. So­cial me­dia plat­forms are also be­ing ac­tively used to en­gage po­ten­tial vis­i­tors to the fes­ti­val.

Ma­nipur’s other an­nual events like the Ma­nipur San­gai Fes­ti­val at­tract a large num­ber of vis­i­tors ev­ery year and a surge in tourist ac­tiv­i­ties is ob­served ev­ery year dur­ing these cel­e­bra­tions. Com­ment­ing on the an­tic­i­pated foot­fall Singh adds, “Look­ing for­ward, we ex­pect the Shirui Lily Fes­ti­val to be a huge suc­cess and pull a huge num­ber of vis­i­tors from within and out­side the state.”

Shirui Lily, also called ‘Siroy Lily’ or ‘Lil­ium Mack­li­nae’ is a rare pink­ish-white flower found only in the Shirui Hill range in the Ukhrul district of Ma­nipur, ap­prox­i­mately 83 kilo­me­tres away from Im­phal. The flower was named af­ter Jean Mack­lin, the wife of Dr. Frank King­don Ward who spot­ted the flower in 1946 while col­lect­ing botan­i­cal spec­i­mens. The Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety, one of the world’s lead­ing hor­ti­cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tions, hon­oured the Shirui Lily with its pres­ti­gious merit award at its Flower Show in Lon­don in 1948.

The Shirui Lily plant is about a foot tall and its flower re­sem­bles the shape of a bell. It blooms only dur­ing the months of April to June ev­ery year. The hills of Shirui com­mands a panoramic view of the district of Ukhrul and dur­ing flow­er­ing sea­sons the bright lilies cover the stretch of the Shirui Hill range. The scenic view of the hill range cov­ered with lilies makes it a won­der­ful pic­ture per­fect lo­ca­tion.

Dr. Sa­pam Ran­jan Singh Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary (Tourism) Govt. of Ma­nipur

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