The Enchanting Indian Cultural Festival

India is a land of many pasts and cultures, and the sublime beauty lies in the fact that all these have blended so magically into our country’s socio-cultural narrative. In the hustle-bustle of today’s modern lifestyle, one often cringes to have a glimpse of the vibrant elements of our heritage and traditions, to have that sense of throwback and kinship. So when one came to know of the 7- day long “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsava “(National Cultural Festival) being held at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in Delhi, I knew where to make a dash for! The festival’s idea was to showcase the spectacular diversity of India  through folk, tribal and classical art forms in all its dimensions – dance, music, drama, entertainment and food. Tagging a close college friend along, we embarked on our day-long trail which turned out to be riveting, exciting, gastronomically delightful and educational : all at once:)

IGNCA- a quiet and usually serene place had transformed into a throbbing, buzzing space having a carnival-like atmosphere with hundreds of folks like us all around. The melange of colors, music, drum-beats, traditional dance-performances and zonal-exhibits was worth soaking in, which is exactly what we did. Walk through the images exhibit-wise (notice how distinct they are)  to live some of these moments vicariously ! (PS: I am no photographer, just sharing the excitement with my lovely readers!)

1) North-East India:

Entry to the exhibit, using bamboo and straws

A
A “Jataka” story painting
Handicrafts from the Land of Seven-Sisters
Handicrafts from the Land of Seven-Sisters
Each Ganesha has been carved out of a single bamboo shoot !
Each Ganesha has been carved out of a single bamboo shoot !
Birds' nest shades
Birds’ nest shades
There is the miniature peacock !
There is the miniature wooden peacock !
Masked-Animal dance form : Singhi Chham
Masked-Animal dance form : Singhi Chham
One for the shutterbugs :D
One for the shutterbugs 😀

2) South India:

Entry to the exhibit, with traditional Dravidian style temple architecture
Entry to the exhibit, with traditional Dravidian style temple architecture
Mahishasurmardini - Chola dynasty inspiration
Mahishasurmardini – Chola dynasty inspiration
Famous Kalamkari Durries of Andhra - These have been awarded GI tags
Famous Kalamkari Durries of Andhra – These have been awarded GI tags
And there we dance :)
And there we dance 🙂
Bronze Diya Stand to lighten up
Bronze Diya Stand to lighten up
Chennapatna Wooden Toys from Karnataka
Chennapatna Wooden Toys from Karnataka
Chennapatna Toys
Chennapatna Toys and Accessories
An artist's metal mastery !
An artist’s metal mastery !
Decorations from Andhra
Decorations from Andhra
“Kerala” roof-top

3. North India:

Entry to the Exhibit: Our eternal Taj Mahal
Entry to the Exhibit: Our eternal Taj Mahal
Live pottery-making classes
Live pottery-making classes
Brassware from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh
Decoration pieces in Brassware

4. Eastern-India:

The Huge Goddess Mask from Bengal-Jharkhand
The Huge Goddess Mask from Bengal
Entry to the exhibit: Seraikella from Jharkhand
Entry to the exhibit: Seraikella Chauu from Jharkhand
Gautam Buddha
Gautam Buddha
“Peacock” dance in motion

Yes, one after another there was so much to see and absorb, the experience was just fabulous ! And after having an eyeful of these rich, cultural depictions, we headed to the food-zone where 29 stalls from each of the states of India had their cuisines to offer.

Even though these dishes are readily available everywhere nowadays,  flavor here was just par excellence. Probably traditional cooks who were at the venue provided that X-factor. In addition to pics below, Sikkim momos with green sauce were brilliant and juicy. Ah, the foodie in me can’t stop raving still !

Cinnamon and Apple Tea from Assam
Cinnamon and Apple Tea from Assam
Cheese Gun-Powder Masala Dosa from Mysore
Cheese Gun-Powder Masala Dosa from Mysore

Hope you had a good time glancing through and getting to know a bit about the diversity out here.  Also, here is wishing all you awesome folks a very Happy and prosperous Diwali – do make a splash and enjoy the celebrations 🙂

Cheers!

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