Bhubaneswar: The annual Konark Festival began on Friday evening with enthralling Odissi recital performed by the Nupur Dance Academy of Bhubaneswar.
The annual dance festival in Open Air Auditorium on the backdrop of the Sun Temple will conclude on December 5 with Mohiniattam dance by Nalanda Dance Research Centre, Mumbai (Dr Kanak Rele & Group).
The major attraction of the festival this year would be the Bharatnatyam and Odissi dances performed by two Malaysian groups – The Temple of Fine Arts (Bharatnatyam) and the Sutra Foundation, Ramli Ibrahim & Group (Odissi).
The five-day classical dance festival, which is being organised by the Tourism Department and Odissi Research Centre every year between December 1 and 5, will be held from 6.00 PM to 8.30 PM.
Conceived as a festival of Classical Dances of India, the objective of Konark Festival, which is being celebrated since 1986, was to promote Konark, as well as Odisha as a tourist destination. The festival showcases the best of the traditional and classical dance forms of India, besides offering interesting insights into the rich cultural and dance heritage of the country like no one else. A solitary splendor par excellence, folklore and mythology have created layers of legends shrouding the genesis of this world heritage monument built in the 13th century A.D.
The International Sand Art Festival has also been organized at Chandrabhaga Beach, Konark during the same date which attract more tourists to the place. As many as 41 stalls will be set up and participants from Sri Lanka, Germany, Singapore, Mexico, Ghana, Spain, France and Russia will take part in the Sand Art Festival.
While the winner will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, the first and second runners-up will get Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively.