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Khajuraho Dance Festival : A Cultural Ethos

Staged against the backdrop of the mighty temples of Khajuraho, Khajuraho Dance Festival is organised at a time when the winter blues are just fading away and it’s the onset of spring-the season of rejoicing and colours. The week long extravaganza, of classical dances held annually, renders a treat to the eyes. The synergy of a myriad of cultures and traditions from throughout the nation does not fail to leave its spectators awestruck!

The festival is organised by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad in the months of February and March in Khajuraho, Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, in front of the strikingly lit temples that stand as the beacon of rich culture and heritage of the country!

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Kalidas Samaroh, Ujjain : A Cardinal Affair

Celebrated each year in August at the temple town of Ujjain, Kalidas Festival magnetizes the unbeatable maestros in the field of Dance and Dramatics. First Inaugurated by the late president of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the festival is held in two parts: Natya Samaroh and the All India exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures organised by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad.

Over the years, the Festival commemorated to the world- class poet: Kalidasa has turned not only a national phenomenon but has also attracted international gallantry.

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Tansen Music Festival : Vestige to the Jewel

Gwalior, the city with a long history of fostering some of the greatest singers and musicians is the venue for annual gala widely known as the Tansen Music Festival or Tansen Sangeet Sammelan or the Tansen Utsav. Tansen was an eminent Musician, Vocalist and Composer in Classical Indian Music and was among the famed nine jewels (Navratna) in court of the Mughal emperor Akbar.

The Tansen Music Festival is organised each year between November and December near the tomb of the great musician located at Behat, attracting renowned musicians, singers and vocalists from throughout the country.

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Bhagoria Haat, Jhabua : Merrymaking at its Best

The tribal section of people constitutes a vital part in the rich cultural heritage of Madhya Pradesh. Bhagoriya Haat is a display of merrymaking and celebrations by one of the most dominant tribes of the region- the Bhils and the Bhilalas. Observed between the months of February and March in the town of Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, this vibrant festival is the perfect blend of merriment, singing, dancing, colours and love.

The festival marks the outset of spring and winding up of the harvest season and is considered a divine time for couples to enter wedlock within their tribes.

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Lokrang Samaroh, Bhopal : Eliminating Differences

Commencing on 26th January marked as the Republic Day of India the Lokrang Samaroh in Bhopal begins its five day fervour embracing and portraying a wide variety of cultures from around the world. Lokrang Samaroh brings into spotlight various withering cultures from across India that has been on the verge of fading into oblivion. The five day festivities are centred on a particular geographic region of the country and showcasing its varied Tribal and Folk cultures.

The chief rationale behind the fest is eradicating geographical differences between the people and bringing India as a unified whole.

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Navratri Festival, Ujjain : Nine Nights of Glory

Navratri in Madhya Pradesh is celebrated with much fervour and zeal throughout the region. Tourists from all over the world flock towards Ujjain, home of the famed Mahakaal Temple of lord Shiva. The nine days long festival begins on the first day of Pratipada and ends in Dussehra- the festival of lights.

Navratri in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh is celebrated with dancing and worshipping goddess Durga through the nine day festivities falling during the months of September or October.

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Nimar Utsav, Maheshwar : Veneration to Narmada

Celebrated on the serene banks of river Narmada in Maheshwar, Nimar Utsav is a three day festival involving music, dance, drama, boating and canoeing specifically held on the eve of Kartik Purnima. The feast is organized between the months of September and October by the state government of Madhya Pradesh. Nimar Utsav is a vibrant celebration of the divine esse of rejuvenating river Narmada.

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Ameer Khan Festival, Indore : A Tribute to Indore Gharana & its Founder

Ameer Khan Festival held annually is an exemplary means of commemorating the legendary Ameer Khan Sahab, Founder of Indore Gharana. The festival is a magnificent blend celebrating varied forms of Indian classical music enticing maestros from all across the globe towards Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The festival also becomes a launching pad for debut performances by music aficionados.

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Mandu Utsav : A Fusion of Hindu Mythology and Tribal Culture

Marked by zealous celebration and a pompous display of Tribal Arts and Crafts in the fairs, Mandu Utsav concurs with the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.  According to Hindu mythology Ganesha is considered the God of prosperity and good fortune for the believers. The two festivals become distinct in their way of celebrations, Mandu Utsav comprises of celebrations and forms of worship in accordance with the tribal cultures of the region.

Celebrated in the cities of Mandu, Indore and Ujjain during the months of September or October, the festival adds a new dimension to the cultural backdrop of Madhya Pradesh.

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Malwa Utsav : A Cultural Fiesta

The perpetual wave of invasions led to the need of preserving the regions age old culture and traditions from decadence, Malwa Utsav is one such endeavour for the cause. Decked with enthusiastic Classical Dance performances by artists flaunting bright ornaments and costumes, Malwa Utsav is a feast enticing all senses of the onlookers into the rich world of culture and tradition.

The five day Cultural Fiesta is organised in the towns of Indore and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and mostly held during the month of May every year.

With development on its peak and rising modernisation, Festivals are our window to the glorious past and effervescent culture and tradition where our roots lie. Festivals are a time of rejoicing and coming together putting aside all the differences and reminiscing the great culture we are heirs to.

We bring to you some of the most prestigious festivals of Madhya Pradesh, illustrating the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Zahra Gulrez

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