Winter brings festival tourism

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By BIBHUTI BARIK
  • Published 21.11.11
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Bhubaneswar, Nov. 20: Come winter, besides marketing its popular tourist spots, state tourism department launches innovative ideas involving several festivals. The winter festive season has started with Bali yatra on November 10 and will end with Rajarani Music Festival on January 20, 2012.

Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has already started a package for the Konark Festival and the International Sand Art Festival at Chandrabhaga. But tour operators feel that the OTDC can formulate better packages starting from Bali yatra to the Rajarani Music Festival as all are organised near to the state capital and there will be no problem for arranging the logistics. The problem of accommodation for the guests applying for the package both in budget and luxury categories can also be solved with roping in private partners.

“The OTDC can start a novel concept of festival tourism for the first time in the state so that tourists mainly from the neighbouring states can be lured to visit the state’s important tourist places mainly in the Golden Triangle region consisting - Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark. Starting from Bali yatra till the Rajarani Music Festival, we have a huge potential to get a tourist flow and for this authorities should have a serious thought,’’ said tour operator and chief of K7 Holidays, Debasish Mohapatra.

Tourism professionals, such as Mohapatra, feel that there should be inclusion of other festivals such as Bali yatra, Gotipua Dance Festival (November 15-17), Dhauli Kalinga Mahotsav (December 10-14), Toshali National Crafts Mela (December 15-27), International Odissi Festival (December 23-30), Odissi Music Festival (January 8-10), Mukteswar Dance Festival (January 14-16) and Rajarani Music Festival (January 18-20) in Bhubaneswar.

Bali yatra (Cuttack): Held on the Bali yatra Grounds in Cuttack, nearly 1,300 sellers from different parts of the state and the country participate at Odisha’s biggest traditional fair. Besides unique products, a variety of food items attract huge crowd to the festival ground. There are also special kiosks for filigree art as Cuttack is famous for this.

International Sand Art Festival (Chandrabhaga): To be organised for the first time on the famous beach near Konark, the festival will showcase more than 20 sand art experts of international and national repute.

Gotipua Dance Festival (Bhubaneswar): Going to be organised for the first time in the city, the festival will be organised by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, in collaboration with state department of tourism and culture.

International Puri Beach Festival (Puri): Started by the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Odisha more than a decade ago, the five-day festival transforms the famous Puri beach into a nice place of cultural amalgamation as troupes from different parts of India and world come to display their talents.

Dhauli Kalinga Mahotsav (Dhauli): Dhauli peace pagoda was planned near the Daya river valley as the historic Kalinga War was fought right near the spot where the brave Odias resisted the mighty army of emperor Ashoka. Though the war went in favour of the invading emperor, morally he was defeated and he became Dharmashoka from Chandashoka. The venue is right near the Buddha statue and the festival only includes martial dances from across India.

Toshali National Crafts Mela (Bhubaneswar): Held in the month of November for 13 days, the national fair creates a rural setting to include crafts from all states and union territories of India and even other countries under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The display and sale of crafts apart, the national fair also includes cultural and dance shows from all regions.

International Odissi Dance Festival (Bhubaneswar): International Odissi Dance Festival, a joint venture of the culture department and other national and international bodies, brings more than 500 artistes from 20 nations to the stage.

Odissi Music Festival (Bhubaneswar): Odissi Music Festival is being planned by the culture department to promote Odissi music and to pay a tribute to great singer Balakrushna Dash. The festival will showcase the talents of the state’s musicians at the national and international arena. Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre will organise the festival.

Mukteswar Dance Festival (Bhubaneswar): As the famous temple is pride of the Kalingan temple architecture with its beautiful arch-shaped gate, the dance festival is organised on the temple lawn. The festival is organised as a concluding part of the of Ekamra Utsav being held in January every year.

Rajarani Music Festival (Bhubaneswar): Rajarani Music Festival is held against the backdrop of the 11th century temple in the city with a series of concerts. The ambience of the temple is another major attraction. It is jointly organised by the department of tourism in association with Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy, Bhubaneswar Music Circle, National Aluminium Company and Union ministry of tourism.