Festival - Elephanta Festival: Must See India
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Elephanta Festival

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Elephanta Festival is a 2-day cultural extravaganza held in the months of February/March. The Elephanta festival is organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, and it is a platform for renowned dancers and musicians to perform to an appreciative audience. The venue of the festival is the world heritage site of Elephanta caves, which has sculptures dating back to the 6th century. The Elephanta caves are on the Gharapuri Island at a distance of 7 km from Mumbai harbour and this festival is being here there for the past two decades.

Traditions


The festival starts with a traditional welcome to guests and a dance performance by the local Koli fisherpeople of Mumbai. The stage is erected against the backdrop of the magnificent Maheshmurthi cave. The dance performances are scheduled for late evening and the floodlight image of Lord Shiva, the patron God of dance, provides a fitting backdrop. Top classical dancers in the country vie to perform at this festival. This stage provides an opportunity to new talent to perform to a discerning audience.

Tourist Essential


Visitors to the festival get a tour of the magnificent sculptures at Elephanta. The 1-hour boat ride from the Gateway of India to Elephanta Island is a part of the festival experience. The Indian Navy and Coastguard offer their services in ferrying visitors to and fro to Elephanta. There are many stalls at the venue selling delectable items of Maharashtrian cuisine.

The open air stage and excellent acoustics enable guests to enjoy classical music and dance against the backdrop of the evening sky .Famous classical musicians and singers, including Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (Santoor), Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia (Flute) and Shubha Mudgal (Hindustani classical vocal) are regular performers at the festival. Some of the classical dancers who have performed here include Hema Malini (Bharat Natyam), Sanyukta Panigrahi (Odissi) and Radha and Ravi Reddy (Kuchipudi). The Elephanta festival is a commendable attempt to keep Indian cultural traditions in music and dance alive.

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by Kapil
by Kapil
 

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