After Nagaland, Tripura holds Hornbill Festival to boost eco-tourism

Debraj Deb
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Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb inaugurated the first-ever Hornbill Festival at Baramura Eco Park on Saturday. (CMO)

In a bid to boost tourism, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb inaugurated the state's first-ever Hornbill Festival at Baramura Eco Park, 40 km away from here, on Saturday. The chief minister said the festival will help create awareness towards the Hornbill birds among the local community.

Baramura was renamed as ‘Hathai Kotor’, literally translating to a big hill in Kokborok, lingua franca of Tripura’s tribal communities, during the Kokborok Day celebrations on January 19. The hill is known for its Oriental Pied Hornbills, commonly found in Nagaland.

Nagaland celebrates Hornbill Festival in December every year to mark their conservation efforts for the species.

While delivering his inaugural address, Deb said the eco-park at a biodiversity hotspot will serve as a conservation centre for hornbill birds and will also be a tourist attraction.

“This festival will enlarge the scope of livelihood for local communities in the hospitality, boarding and lodging and transport sector. People will pay more attention to conserve nature and eco-tourism will be developed. I urge people to come here," he told the crowd.

Locals from three villages near the eco-park have been conserving endangered Hornbill bords since ages.

Chief Wildlife Warden DK Sharma said the festival was envisaged on conserving hornbills, besides showcasing biodiversity in the state.

A recent survey conducted by the state-run wildlife foundation revealed at least 60 trees near Baramura have got hornbill tests on them. Hornbill birds usually build their nesting hole on softwood trees 80-90 feet above ground.

While Nagaland’s Kisama village is known for conserving hornbill birds, the local community of Tripura’s Baramura Hills also has a traditional culture of conserving these birds.