Chandigarh, Feb 23 – A flower-bedecked tunnel with the fragrance and ambience of roses all around greeted visitors as the city’s famous Rose Festival got underway here Friday.

The three-day event was inaugurated by Punjab Governor and Chandigarh administrator S.F. Rodrigues along with his wife Jean Rodrigues.

This year, the 35th edition of the Rose festival, the name of which had been changed into Festival of Gardens for the past five years, got its original name back. The Chandigarh administration has also not allowed commercial stalls to be put up to ensure the event a flower-oriented feel.

Hundreds of visitors turned up at the Rose Garden in Sector 16 here – touted to be one of the biggest rose gardens in Asia – for their annual date with roses. The crowds are expected to swell over the weekend.

About 300 artistes from various states would perform at the festival to add to the charm spread by millions of roses.

Competitions for various rose categories, best gardens and rose prince and princess were also held in connection with the festival.

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