Tourists, curious onlookers and families ambling around the brightly lit India Gate followed a serpentine queue into the six-day patriotic festival, ‘Bharat Parv’, at the Rajpath Lawns Sunday evening to be regaled with folk dance performances, street food and festivity on the eve of Independence Day.
Even as the rain played spoilsport, visitors did not seem to mind. The crowd was enthralled by the performances at the main stage even as at least 24 stalls, set up by the National Association of Street Vendors of India, dished out steaming plates of local cuisine from across the country.
Vishesh Mishra, a law firm executive, said he was out on a drive with his family around India Gate when they noticed the bustling crowd at the festival.
“I have been living in Delhi for the past six years but have never seen such festivity during Independence Day. This was a long weekend and most of my colleagues planned trips to nearby tourist destinations but I couldn’t. I do not regret it any longer,” said Mishra.
Unlike Mishra, many visitors, who had planned a trip and were looking forward to an eventful evening, were turned away as the venue closed by 7 pm due to security reasons. “There must have been at least 2 lakh visitors today. But we were instructed to shut the premises early as the entire area has to be sanitised,” said a police officer at the venue.