07 Dec, Pakyong : The Grammy and academy winner , Music maestroe composer A. R. Rahman arrived in Gangtok on Sunday evening.
Mastero shall be officially be declared at the inauguration of the Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival 2017-18 at the Palzor Stadium in Gangtok .
He reached Gangtok from Siliguri by road after bad weather prevented him from taking a chopper ride to the Himalayan state. Huge number of people and fans flocked at Gateway to Sikkim at Rangpo but the celebrity could not afford to stop due to tiredness, said sources his motorcade straight way went to Gangtok.
AR Rahman will also participate in an interactive programme with tourism stakeholders, talents , people at a city hotel. An official of the Sikkim tourism department said an understanding had also been reached with Rahman’s team to organise a concert in the state sometime in Febraury -March this year.
The official said Rahman’s appointment as brand ambassador would give a huge thrust to boost the tourism because of his global reach and paramount. “By appointing the world-famous musician as the brand ambassador of Sikkim tourism, we want to leverage his global profile to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to the state,” said the official.
Sikkim has seen a significant rise in the number of tourist arrival over the past few years. In 2016, about 7.50 lakh domestic and 62,000 foreign tourists visited the Himalayan state. “Last year’s figure is yet to be tabulated, but going by the trend of the past seven-eight years, there should be a further rise in tourist arrival,” said the official.
The winter festival, too, is part of the government’s effort to attract more tourists to the state. A host of events, including music, dance, adventure sports and exhibition of Sikkim-produced organic products and handicrafts, have been lined up for 11 days from Monday.
Most of the events will be staged at MG Marg in the heart of the town.
The other highlight of the carnival will be the four-day Red Panda International Rock Contest beginning on January 14. Bands from different parts of the country and neighbouring countries are expected to participate in the event. “The winner will be given a cash award of Rs 6 lakh, the first runner-up Rs 4 lakh and the second runner-up Rs 2 lakh,” said the tourism official.
After Rahman, another global celebrity from India, Priyanka Chopra, is also scheduled to visit Sikkim in April. She will be coming for the premiere of her home production Pahuna-The Little Visitors. The film was shot exclusively in Sikkim and is currently doing the rounds of the film festival circuits.