Mandu Festival ends on a high note

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Mandu festival | Photo: PTI

Bhopal: An exhilarating buzzing cultural and vibrant Mandu Mahotsav comprising music, arts and culture organised by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board came to a glorious end. The star-studded 5-day celebration from 30th Dec 2021 to 03rd Jan 2022 showcased live concerts, local art, craft and cuisine, adventure sports, cycling expeditions and much more.

The Mandu festival saw the amalgamation of cultural activities and adventure sports. The rich classical and traditional folk arts of dance, singing and playing came alive again through the Mandu festival as the festival thrived in delivering a unique experience with soul-stirring and foot-tapping performances by local artists.

The festival saw Ms Usha Babusinghji Thakur, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Minister, inaugurating the Mandu Mahotsav in the music district as the celebrations began with the launch of the Hot Air Balloon followed by a Cycling Tour, Heritage Tour, and Mandu Instagram Tour. The visitors also got a taste of the Food, Art, Craft and Shopping District along with Excursion of Rural Tourism while the guests were treated to a group dance performance by local artists of Nupur Kala Kendra. Internationally renowned Prem Joshua & Group presented a colourful program of music and performance, while the Mukt Band enthralled the audience with its symphony.

To promote destinations within Madhya Pradesh, the Tourism department has roped in several experiential agencies to curate festivals like Mandu. Speaking about curated festivals, Sheo Shekhar Shukla, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, said, "The idea behind curated festivals is to showcase historical and cultural flavours of an area. Such festivals not only boosts the economy of that area but also puts them on the tourist circuit."

The sense of fun radiated even stronger, thanks to the Story Telling Session and Yoga with Morning Ragas at Chappan Mahal. The response has been tremendous as the interest shown by the audience speaks volumes. Folk Dance by Krishna Maliwaad and Performance by industry bigwig Navraj Hans attracted the maximum crowd.

The Night Glow Concert and Star Gazing at Dinosaur Park bought even more flavour to the much-loved cultural festival. Meanwhile, DHARA made an artistic statement through Vanya- A fashion showcasing of tribal designs and in addition, Local Artistes Performed at the Music District, inspiring visitors to reflect on cultural ethos and values. The Shopping District had Live Demos of textiles and crafts in view to strengthen the cultural importance of the local traditions as a first-of-its-kind Narmada aarti was performed by priests at the Rewa Kund.

According to Jai Thakore, Co-Founder and Director, E-Factor, "During the festival, hotels and homestays are usually sold out. This year, we earmarked an area to install 60 tents to accommodate tourists. The entire festival was curated keeping the historical relevance of Mandu in mind. We curated experiences like storytelling sessions, Narmada Aarti, cultural activities, food and heritage walks, among others and in all these activities we took help from local residents. The festival not only puts Mandu on the tourist map but is a great way to provide employment and business opportunities to local artisans."

He further expressed his thanks and appreciation to all the entities, institutions and centres that have been cooperating with them to advance their activities for the festival.

A Kavi Sammelan was presented in the Music District with Renowned poets like Sandeep Sharma, Padmashree Dr. Surendra Dubey, Dr. Ruchi Chaturvedi, Ashok Sundari, Partha Naveen, Pankaj Prasoon, Ashok Charan, Lokesh Jadia and Dheeraj Sharma entertaining the guests in the sammelan. The festival also featured local famous folk singer Kalakar Anandilal and folk dance by Kailash and Krishna Maliwad and Dance performance by Ishika Mukhati and Aanchal Sachan. Internationally renowned Free bands marked the concluding day functions with a Philharmonic program of colorful music.

Mandu Mahotsav has left a big emphasis on Madhya Pradesh's local musicians and artists by playing an important role in the state's cultural heritage through social cohesion and intellectual & cultural integration.

About Mandu

Mandu, located in the Dhar district of Western Madhya Pradesh, Central India, attracts tourists with its stunning views of waterfalls, lakes, and incredible monuments. Mandu is well-known among tourists for the fort built by Baaz Bahadur in memory of his queen Rani Roopmati. Mandu, located almost in the centre of India, has played a significant role in shaping the country's history. The monsoon season is the best time to visit Mandu because the lakes and ponds are full of water and the dark clouds create a pleasant environment amidst the rugged hilly landscape. African-native baobab trees, and incredible Afghan architecture, are important tourist attractions in Mandu. Some of the structures in this region have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Rupmati's Pavilion, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Mandu.

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About Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board also referred to as the 'MPTB' was established in 2017 with an objective to promote tourism in Madhya Pradesh. Development of tourism with public, private partnership in sustainable manner, investor facilitation, skill- development, publicity/promotion of tourist destinations nationally & internationally, identification and development of tourism infrastructure are the core objectives of the Board.

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