The glorious land of Kalinga has been known to celebrate its rich heritage in the form of mesmerising dance & music. While the beautiful Odissi dance has managed to enchant audiences across the globe, Odisha also brings to stage many other colorful dance forms and enchanting musical performances. Here’s a list of certain dance & music festivals which are held in the backdrop of some very scenic sites of Odisha, in order to give its tourism a boost!
1) Konark Dance and Music Festival
In order to promote Konark & Odisha as a place of tourist destination, it was in 1986 that Konark Dance & Music Festival got initiated. Since then, the festival has been drawing eminent dancers & artists from all over the world. Beautiful dance forms like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak, Chau & traditional musical segments are hosted in the very exquisite Natya Mandap (dancing hall), which is in the form of an open-air stage in this 700-year-old temple. Adding to this fest’s beauty even more is the crafts mela where one can find some wonderful souvenirs & also a variety of Odia cuisine to feast on!
Month: February | Duration: 5 Days
2) Puri Beach Festival
Sun, sand, sea and a cultural extravaganza of classical and contemporary performances is symbolic of the annual Puri Beach Festival. Artistes from various parts of India & even countries like Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & others gather in this vibrant beach festivity. Entertaining events, fashion & cultural shows, exhibitions, beach activities and delicious cuisine offered here will keep any visitor hooked to this festival. One can even enjoy the true spirit of Odisha by spectating beautiful sand art and handicrafts right on the beach itself. From reveling with the locals to rejoicing in the colorful evenings, this festival seems no less than any other International fest!
Month: November | Duration: 5 days
3) Dhauli Kalinga Mahotsav
Started in 2011, this festival has been conceptualized by clubbing Dhauli Mahotsav & Kalinga Mahotsav into one major celebration. Charm yourself with live martial dance acts, performances from different arts of India like Chhow and Paika from Odisha, Kalaripayattu from Kerala, Thang Ta from Manipur and also varied classical to folk dances of the state. All these celebrations in the beautiful backdrop of Dhauli foothills looks very enchanting!
Month: February | Duration: 3 days
4) Mukteswar Dance Festival
This festival observed in the premises of the 1100-year-old temple of Mukteswar is a must visit, specially for every other Odissi dance connoisseur. The legendary temple complex serves as the perfect venue to bring the Odissi dance in focus by both veteran & young talents. A sense of pure ecstasy is felt in the atmosphere as the carvings of the temple come alive with the dance that’s performed here. Also the evenings of the festivity are a wondrous sight to behold!
Month: January | Duration: 3 days
5) Rajarani Music Festival
A well known festivity of Odisha, Rajarani Music Festival comes alive to celebrate the richness of classical music which is performed by some famous names. The celebrations generally portray Hindustani, Carnatic & Odissi music and the shows are held within the splendid precincts of this 11th century ancient temple. Music compositions from some very promising vocalists & instrumentalists are sure to enchant both the music lovers as well as other visitors!