| Singer Sapna Awasthi performs at the Vanavar Mahotsav in Jehanabad on Wednesday. Picture by Veer Bhadra |
The Barabar hills formed the perfect backdrop for a musical interlude on love and longing Bollywood-style on Wednesday.
Playback singer Sapna Awasthi put up the first act of Vanavar Mahotsav with her hit number “Main yeh nahi keheti ke pyar mat karna…” from the Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor-starrer blockbuster Raja Hindustani (1996).
Organised by the tourism department and Jehanabad district administration, the purpose of the two-day event, which began on Wednesday, is to attract tourists to the historic hills, 50km south of Gaya and 75km north of Patna.
Apart from Sapna Awasthi (who also sang “Banno teri aankhiya surmee” from Dushmani: A Violent Love Story, 1995), famous dancer Ekta Verma also performed on the opening day today.
Artistes from the state presented a programme on the folk culture and heritage. Performers from Jehanabad also put up a kathak show. Playback singer Mohammad Aziz will perform on Thursday.
Inaugurating the event, food and consumer protection minister Shyam Razak said: “The area around Barabar Hills will be developed so that tourists visit this place.”
A souvenir, Engaged Buddhism, published jointly by Nava Nalanda Mahavihara — a deemed university — and the department of art, culture and youth affairs mentions that the rock-cut caves of Barabar hills are the oldest polished caves in the world. But now, cracks have developed in the caves. The rock-cut caves are protected sites of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Apart from these, numerous important inscriptions are also evident here.
Recently, the Jehanabad district administration has prepared a blueprint not only to develop the hills but also to ensure proper conservation. The mahotsava is a part of that plan.