Nainital : 14 February, 2016

A 'Ganga Sanskriti Yatra' is being organized by the Union ministry of culture to showcase the diverse cultural heritage of areas through which Ganga flows and spread awareness among the people there about the need to safeguard and rejuvenate the holy river.

The 'Sanskriti Yatra' will commence at Gangotri in Uttarakhand on Sunday. It will culminate at Ganga Sagar on March 13. The cultural shows will be held at some 262 places on the river banks including Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Bijnor, Kannauj, Kanpur, Allahabad and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Vaishali and Patna in Bihar, and Murshidabad, Baharampur, Dakhineswar in West Bengal.

"The focus of the festival is to present art forms of Ganga basin which are deeply associated with the river, including folk songs and dances, folk theatre, dance drama, documentary and film shows, street plays, 'kavi sammelan', photography exhibitions, quiz competitions, seminars and poster campaigns," said the ministry in a statement. The yatra will include at least 3,200 artistes and a total of 262 venues.

The yarta also aims to promote cultural exchange and is divided in two phases — central point being Varanasi. The yatra will also include seminars in various centres. The venues of the seminars include educational centres at Srinagar (uttarakhand), Varanasi (UP), Chhapra and Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Calcutta University, Kolkata.

From the origin to confluence, the Ganga flows through the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, which are part of the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) under the Union ministry of culture. As per the approved scheme, every zonal culture centre has to organize a series of festivals beyond their zone. TOI

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