HARIPUR: The three-day Khanpur Water Sports Regatta concluded here on Sunday after pulling a ot of visitors, said organizers.
A range of exciting air and water sports such as para-boating, gliding, air-safari, motor boating as well as fishing competition, followed by beautiful folk dances like Khattak, Mahsud, Kumhar and horse dances mesmerised the cheering spectators, especially the kids during the event that got under way on Friday.
“The Khanpur town of Haripur distirct of the Hazara Division has always been famous for oranges but the addition of the water sports extravaganza has opened up new corridors as it has now become a popular tourist destination. Here families and individuals can enjoy boating, picnicking, extended walks along the lakeshore or observe migratory birds,” said an Mohammad Ali Sayyed, General Manager of the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) that has organised the events regularly to provide good entertainment to the people from various parts of the country.
Another official Zeeshan Khan said the TCKP in an attempt to provide healthy entertainment to the people decided to introduce the blue green lake- Khanpur Lake of the Khanpur Dam-to thousands of families as a tourist spot last year and thus arranged the biggest water sports event in Pakistan, which was called the Khanpur Lake Spring Festival.
He said after its tremendous success, it was decided that this event be turned into an annual event like the Shandur Festival and that Khanpur Lake be declared an official tourist spot. In light of that decision, the TCKP has carried on the legacy and arranged the event this year too, said the official who was elated at the success of the programme.
Another official, Zahra Alam, said the idea for the event stemmed out of a desire to provide an innovative, exciting and colorful platform to families and children. She said huge pavilions were created for showcasing the skills of the people of this part of the world like handicrafts and other handmade work. “The interest evinced by the visitors in the stalls has encouraged us,” she added.
This time a famous folk singer, Shazia Khushk, enthralled the spectators with her “Lal Meri Paat” song and did not let them sit on the pre-arranged seating capacity at bank of beautiful Khanpur Lake, which is fed by Haro River and through the water moving down the western side of Margala Hills. Her renditions in Punjabi, Seraiki and Hindko captivated the audience.
“Khanpur is an ideal location for water rafting and other sports activities and that’s why it’s a privilege to develop the area through these events so that visitors can come and see how naturally resourceful their country is,” said a visitor Saeed Khan from Peshawar who was there with his family members. The fireworks, arranged for all three nights, added more to the overall attraction for the local and foreign visitors.