RATNANAGAR, DEC 27- The International Elephant Race and Chitwan Elephant Festival has kicked off at Sauraha, a tourist hub in Chitwan district.
A morning procession was held in Chitwan prior to the start of the elephant race. Over a dozen elephants and different cultural floats were part of the procession.
Sauraha in Chitwan is lavishly decorated for the festival. Main cross-roads, hotels, parks and resorts have been colourfully decorated.
The elephant race and festival is organized in Sauraha every year with the objective of promoting tourism in this holiday resort town. The ninth edition of the international elephant race which is an integral part of the festival will run for three days from today.
Sixteen foreign teams and eight national teams are competing in today's first-round race in a bid to clinch the title of the championship.
The elephant race is taking place at the open ground at local Baghmara. Besides the elephant race, elephant calf football championship, elephant beauty contest, horse-drawn cart race, push-cart race and different types of contests are the highlights of the festival.