Konark Dance & Music Festival is held annually at the Sun Temple, the glorious terracotta and stone architecture depicting the chariot of Sun God that was crafted by almost twelve hundred artists in 13th century. Surrounded by twelve giant wheels, the Sun Temple has seven galloping horses, kings, queens, foot soldiers, generals, priests, elephants, horses, courtiers and courtesans depicted on its walls telling magnificent stories. It creates a nostalgia and longing in ones mind to travel back in time to the 13th century. The painstaking but classic art of storytelling in stone depicts events from chores of daily life including wars, worship and love making.
The temples of Odisha (formerly Orissa) have been centers of performing arts since ancient times. In order to revive that history and sustain the tradition, government of Odisha started Konark dance & music festival in 1989 funded by the central government of India. The event of 2015, held between 1-5 December was graced by Srjan Guru Ratikant Mohapatra whose fine tuned dancers danced with poses and stances identical to those depicted on the walls of the temple. Through the presentation of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s ‘Vande Mataram’, the group created an illusion of dancing maidens of Konark temple come alive in semi-darkness of the stage.
The festival is celebrated annually in the open air auditorium that reverberates with the beats of Raga and Tala. Artists perform on Indian classical dance forms like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak and Chhow.
Prateeksha Kasi presented a remarkable story of Kakatiya queen Rudramma, whose reign of four decades is considered to be the golden age of Kakatiya dynasty. Vyjayanti Kasi, the Kuchipudi dancer in the role of Kanya-created by Adi shakti to annihilate Banasura-emoted sringar rasa-love feelings for Shiva brilliantly.
The Konark dance & music festival also coincides with the International sand art festival celebrated on the beach of Konark. Artists from all over the world with their expert craftsmanship carve stories out of sand that stay as a feast for the eyes of the traveller before merging back with its creator, the sea.
How to reach: Konark is 35 km from Puri and 65 km from Bhubaneswar, the major train stations of Odisha. Taxis or local buses can be taken to Konark thereafter.
Stay, food, leisure: For bookings of tour packages, visit the official site of Konark Festival
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