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Pak melody to pep up state fest beats

Patna, Dec. 8: Chief minister Nitish Kumar’s recent visit to Pakistan has definitely had an effect on the cultural map of the state.

This year’s Rajgir Mahotsav, a three-day tourism department initiative starting on December 28, will have at least two Pakistani classical singers enthralling the audience with their magical voices.

Music aficionados would be treated to mystical Sufi music performed by the legendary Abida Parveen. Arif Lohar, also from Pakistan, and Zila Hussain Khan would try to match her magic with strains of classical folk.

The hugely popular, Kandisa, would also sail through with Indian Ocean, the rock band from this side of the border, promising to delight people with their contemporary yet elegant style.

The Bollywood musical brigade would do their bit with either Sonu Nigam or Shreya Ghoshal or Sunidhi Chauhan performing, sources said. The art, culture and youth affairs department would hold Vishwamitra Mahotsav in Buxar from December 10 to 12.

Tourism minister Sunil Kumar claimed that Rajgir Mahotsav would be grand. “Earlier, Rajgir Mahotsav was postponed from December 26 to December 28,” Sunil said, adding that the festival would have a local tinge with performances by state artistes.

Vishwamitra Mahotsav in Buxar will showcase a ballet on the life of saint Vishwamitra. “Buxar is known for Vishwamitra. He trained Lord Ram and his brother, Lakshman, in the use of weapons at the place. Lord Ram killed Tarka, the demon, in Buxar. The department will hold the festival on Vishwamitra here for the first time. Members of Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, will stage a ballet. There will be other artistes too, both local and from outside,” art, culture and youth affairs minister Sukhada Pandey said.

She added that at present, the department is planning a number of festivals aimed at providing awareness on the many heritage sites of Bihar.

“There are archaeological sites in Chirand (Saran), Chausa (Buxar) and other places, the historical importance of which people don’t know about,” the minister said.

She added that the youth festival would be held in Purnea district from December 15.