Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 28:
Odisha government’s Department of Tourism is all set to organise the five-day twin mega events of Konark Festival and International Sand Art Festival from December 1 in Open Air Auditorium and at Chandrabhaga Beach respectively.
“An annual fete of Indian classical dance and music, the Konark Festival is one of the biggest dance festivals in the country, bringing champions of different classical and traditional dance forms together to display their skill and mastery over age-old dance forms such as the classic Bharatnatyam, the graceful Odissi, the expressive Kuchipudi, lilting Sattriya, rhythmic Manipuri and the statuesque Kathak dance styles. Since 1989, the Konark Festival has been drawing tourist, dance and music lovers alike to the sandy shores of Konark every year,” said Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister Tourism & Culture here today.
Addressing the media, Panda said, “as many as 10 highly-acclaimed danseuse have confirmed participation at this year’s festival and the list includes well known performers such as Jatin Goswami, Vyjayanthi Kashi, Rajashree Shirke and others The five-day festival will showcase performances in Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Sastriya and Kathak.”
Similarly, the International Sand Art Festival shall have 35 stalls with reputed 5 international sand artists from USA, Africa, Columbia, Spain and New Zealand and 30 national sand artists. As many as 12 women sand artists and two differently-abled sand artists shall also participate in the festival. Padmashri Sudarsan Pattnaik has been declared as Brand Ambassador of the International Sand Art Festival. Awards and trophies shall be given to the winners. OTDC shall sponsor free stays in Panthanivas for the winners, an official informed.
Four counters have been opened for India Tourism, First Aid, Fire Service and Police Control along with two selfie counters. Sahitya Asara is being organized on December 4 at Konark where eminent poets and writers will participate. In addition to, an Artist Camp is also being organised to mark the occasion. Konark Cyclothon, a cycle rally for awareness and attraction will be started on November 29 from Konark, being organised by “Roots of Odisha” and supported by Department of Tourism.
Like previous year, this year also Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has designed special tour packages for the Konark Festival and the International Sand Art Festival 2015. Details of the tour packages are available on the Tourism Department’s website (www.odishatourism.gov.in) and the OTDC website (www.panthanivas.com). Entry passes can be purchased for Rs 400 (season pass for 5 days), Rs 100 (main gallery per day) and Rs 15 (Side gallery chair per day).
Among others Gagan Kumar Dhal, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Tourism, U. Pati, Deputy Director, D. Mallick, Secretary, OSNA and A Satpathy, GM, OTDC were also present.