Konark Dance And Sand Art Festival|Festival of Odisha

Festivals are most likely the greatest way to get a taste of the joyous spirit of a town, a state or a country. It fuels the wanderlust and infuses an urge to tick off those few places in one’s bucket list. Be it art, culture, celebration is what people have been doing for the centuries and it’s to stay till the existence of mankind. Apart from being known as the land of Sun Temple and Sea beach, Konark is also famous for its International Sand Art and Dance Festival. Konark Dance Festival in Odisha is a matchless extravaganza that lets one to experience the beauty of classical dance forms of India amongst ancient heritage, rich culture and beaches.

This five days dance and sand art festival held every year in the month of December mostly from 1 to 5. The purpose of this fiesta is to create international cultural brotherhood by presenting a platform to many artists from across the globe.

Konark Dance Festival:

History:

Dance and Music are an intrinsic part of every Indian festival and socio-religious ceremony. The Konark Dance festival was started in a bid to promote Indian Classical dance forms. In the year of 1989 the first edition of Konark Dance festival was organized by late Odishi Guru, Shri Gangadhar Pradhan with the assistance of Odisha cultural tourism and Odishi research centre.
The dance festival was initiated with an aim of displaying various dance forms with the backdrop of ancient temples and monuments because Indian dance forms were inextricably linked to temples in ancient times. This great initiative was taken to glorify the nobility of the Konark sun temple and make it popular among the art and culture loving people.

Festival Details and Celebrations:

The konark dance festival is one of the biggest dance festivals held in Odisha. You’ll see how the renowned contemporary artists showcase their talent in the form of different classical dances which include Odishi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Sattriya etc on your visit to Konark festival.

Every year this dance festival is held from 1st to 5th December at Muktakash Rangamanch (Open Air Auditorium) of Konark with the world famous Black Pagoda as the backdrop. A group of well trained classical dancers perform and fill the air with the sound of ghungroo bells, flute and the pakhavaj. With their traditional beats, steps and musical instruments they captivates audience’s attention.

International Sand Art Festival:

The International sand art festival is a notable cultural event held by the Odisha tourism department. The sand art festival is an event for those people who are in love with sand creations. Every year this festival is held at Chandrabhaga sea beach, 3Km from Konark. The sand festival at konark celebrates sand sculptures made by skillful sand artists. This sea beach festival is free for all the spectators.

History:

In 2015, the international sand art festival was commenced at the sandy chandrabhaga sea beach and it was a part of the famous Konark dance festival which is organized during the same time i.e. from 1st Dec to 5th Dec.

Festival Details and Celebrations:

Sudarsan Pattnaik, the renowned sand artist of Odisha, who has been awarded the Padmashree for his marvelous art; is the brand ambassador of this annual event. The international sand art festival celebrates the extravagant displays of sand artists from India and abroad. Stone, Wood, Bronze and other attractions are added to this exhibition. The golden soft sands are chiseled into various magnificent forms and the skilled sand artists bring to life the wonderful sand exhibits on the seabeach of Chandrabhaga.
Trained sand artists from USA, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, France, Norway & Netherland and other 20 artists are from different states of India participates and produces sand art. This great event witnesses thousands of people from all over the world. The cut-throat competition between the participants is worth seeing. The best sand art creator wins a reward of INR 1, 00,000.

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Other Attractions:

Konark festival is a complete cultural encounter. Although this festival has achieved lot popularity for the various dance performances, but the festival isn’t just limited to it. There are crafts mela (fair) held at Urban Hata where the artists can be seen working delicate patterns on complex filigree items, beautiful paintings on palm leaves and working designs on appliqué work. The specialty of Konark festival is that it provides opportunity to the inexperienced to watch and interact with various skillful craftsmen at one place.
As if this is not enough, there are more than 200 of gourmet stalls are raised which dish out a wide range of delicious Indian and Chinese cuisine. There are also stalls of different varieties of goods from modern technology and traditional ethnic crafts. The stalls are full of fancy goods, selling different varieties of toys, gift items, hand loom outfits and household items.
There is also an opportunity to visit a circus, horse wheels, giant wheels and merry-go-rounds. Under the open sky moonlit night, all the people amused themselves in a great variety of ways.
The Konark dance and sand art festival become a major event in the country’s cultural calendar and attracts large number of visitors to Odisha every year.

How to Reach?

By Air:

Nearest Airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport (65Km)

By Train:

Nearby Railway Station:
• Puri Railway Station (30Km)
• Bhubaneswar Railway Station (61Km)

By Road:

You can board a Bus from Puri or Bhubaneswar and reach Konark in an hour or two hour respectively. There are OSRTC and private bus services are available to reach Konark.

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