Kolkata, Dec 10 (PTI) After a 104-day-long bandh crippled Darjeeling and brought its thriving economy to a standstill, the popular hill station is all set to host a five-day tourism festival from December 27 to attract people to the ‘Queen of Hills’.Also Read - Something's Going On Between BTS And British Rock Band Queen, But Nobody Knows What - Here's Why

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), state tourism department and information and cultural affairs department are jointly organising the festival in Darjeeling to revive tourist interest in the hills, West Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb said. Also Read - Queen Takes Racism Claim by Meghan And Harry 'Very Seriously': Buckingham Palace

“We are planning to invite foreign consulates and embassies to visit and participate in the festival in order to send out the message to the world that the situation in Darjeeling is normal again, and visitors can enjoy the peace and serenity of the hills,” Deb told PTI. Also Read - Pakistan PM Imran Khan To Take Vote of Confidence From The Assembly after Facing Defeat in Senate Elections

The 104-day-long agitation and bandh, demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland, was called off on September 27.

Economy in the hills, which is largely dependent on tourism, had taken a hit owing to the agitation, GTA principal secretary Subrata Biswas said.

“In the backdrop of this, we are organising this festival to tell people that there is nothing to fear about and that they are more than welcome to Darjeeling,” he said.

Describing the lush green hills with a view of snow-capped Kanchenjunga as a “spectacularly beautiful destination”, Biswas said apart from domestic tourists, a large number of foreign visitors also explore the place during this time of the year.

The GTA principal secretary said lesser-known destinations in the hills will be promoted during the festival, to be held from December 27 to December 31, at four venues — Darjeeling town, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik.

“Local arts, dresses and cuisines will be showcased at the festival to cater to different interests of tourists.

Adventure sports like rafting, para-gliding, hiking and leisurely pastimes like bird watching will also find a mention in the promotional activities,” he said.

Home stays at remote villages and several lesser-known destinations in different parts of the hills have opened up a broader vista for tourists who can now enjoy familial warmth in the midst of tranquillity, Biswas added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.