The Konark Dance Festival
The Konark Dance Festival is celebrated every December. Eminent artistes of national and international repute participate and perform Kuchipudi, Kathak, Bharatnatyam , Odissi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam and other classical, folk & tribal dances of India on a stage, with the epic Konark Sun Temple as the background.
The aim of the Konark Dance Festival in Odisha was to bring together artistes from all around the country thus creating a bond of cultural unity that runs throughout the vein of the nation, and a brotherhood which ties everyone together. The presence of casuarinas and cashew trees adds a very raw, natural ambience to this coming together of dances and music from artists of all kinds.
In addition to the classical dances, a fair also takes place which showcases Odisha’s special handcrafted items. Don’t forget the hospitability of Odisha – there will also be stalls set up which serve different cuisines of India.
But why is the Konark Sun Temple particularly chosen for the festival?
A World Heritage Site, the Konark Temple is dedicated to the Sun God. Designed to stand for the chariot of the Sun God, the Konark Temple has 24 wheels each which stand at about 10 feet in diameter. Seven horses line the entrance of the temple. The gate keepers of the temple are two lions, standing majestically in the sun.
Every inch of the walls of the Sun Temple are covered with designs dating back to ancient times. Musicians playing drums, cymbals and other musical instruments adorn the sculptures in Odissi dance poses. We can easily say that the delicate carvings and the larger than life designs of the 700 year old heritage site of the Konark Temple make it an aesthetic marvel.
What better venue for a festival which celebrates the art and culture of India!
The festival has been organized in the state jointly by Odissi guru Gangadhar Pradhan’s Odisha (Orissa) Dance Academy in association with the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata at Konark Natya Mandap in Konark. Make sure you don’t miss it!
What’s more, the International Sand Art Festival will also be held in Odisha at the Chandrabhaga beach at the same time as the dance festival. So when the colours and lights overwhelm, you can rest your eyes by viewing some marvels created from the ground up with sand.