Kharvela festival from Jan 22

Bhubaneswar, Jan 17 : Cultural troupes from 14 states will perform during the week-long prestigious Kharvela festival being organised here on the foothills of picturesque Khandagiri and Udaygiri hills from January 22 to 28.

Named after the great conqueror, empire builder and great patron of Jainism Kharvela, the festival was organised every year to depict the vibrant culture of the state, display the handloom and handicrafts of the state and promote tourism.

Orissa Tourism and Culture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra told mediapersons here that discussions were on with the All India Jain Society to organise a Sammelani of the Jains in Orissa during the festival from the next year on wards to ensure more footfall.

A seven-member delegation of the Jain society was expected here next week to have discussion in this regard, he said.

Efforts were also on to have an interaction session at Delhi to link the festival with spiritural tourism.

Organised by K N Memorial Foundation, Bhubaneswar, in association with the State Tourism and Cultural Department, Panchayatiraj Department, Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre Song and Drama Division, with Travel Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa, the festival is scheduled to be inaugurated by Governor Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare.

State Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice R K Patra is scheduled to grace the valedictory function.

The 14 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat have given their consent to sent their teams to the mela.

National Kharvela Festival Committee chairman D K Nanda said this year cine celebrities from Bollywood and Ollywood, a galaxy of artistes of national and international repute from Orissa and other states would present their colourful cultural extravaganza during the festival.

Besides the cultural programmes, seminar on Kharvela and his glorious achievements would be held on every evening by eminent researchers, administrators, professors and scholars.

Other attractive events of the festival to attract the tourists were traditional sports and martial arts like ''Paika Akhada'' and ''Malkhamba'' would be displayed.

Like last seven years sand art exhibition, food festival, prominent hospitality industries and expo units, handloom and handicraft exhibitions would be added attractions, he said.


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