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Bishnupur Festival being launched with greater grandeur this year

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The rustic brilliance of a terracotta dream comes to life as the music propagated by Bengal’s erstwhile Malla Kings resonates through the pillars of exquisite architecture. Yes, this is the land of Bishnupur, where art and music flourished centuries back and imbibed the love of the red soil through its tunes and traditions. Keeping the rich cultural heritage of this land of the Malla Kings and of the Bishnupur Gharana alive, the West Bengal government has started a unique festival every year to showcase the brilliance of this land.

Sujit Gangopadhyay

The Bishnupur Music Festival of Bengal is no less than the Khajuraho Festival of Madhya Pradesh or even the Konark Festival of Orissa that has attracted crowds from across the country.In its second year, the festival will start from 1st February this year and promises to be more meaningful with a greater opulence. Thanks to the vision of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who has always been keen to promote the culture and richness of this land, the Bishnupur Music Festival this year will inculcate the depth and history of a land that had offered to the world one of the richest musical gharanas of the country. When we talk of Indian classical music, we hardly ever speak of Bishnupur Gharana, the only classical gharana of Bengal that did not bow to the infiltration of its North Indian counterparts. Instead, this gharana retained its authenticity and individuality, bringing in artists who created a genre of music that was hitherto unknown.

Suresh Vyas

To bring this pride of Bengal to the forefront, Mamata Banerjee wishes to restore tradition and heritage of Bishnupur Gharana and showcase it at the Bishnupur Music Festival. Tourism Minister Gautam Deb and MOS-Tourism Indranil Sen, who himself is a singer has been taking keen interest in the festival. Not just artists of the Bishnupur Gharana, there will be well-known classical singers from other parts of the country who would be performing at the festival this year. Principal Secretary, Atri Bhattacharya, as the administrative head of the Tourism Department has been leading from the front and is closely monitoring the festival logistics to add value to this spectacular event. The Department of Tourism along with Information and Cultural Affairs department promises to make the Bishnupur Music Festival one of the most sought after cultural destinations in the country as well as across the world. The classical music lovers of the state, country and the world will get a chance to enjoy some of the lost songs and music of more than a century old gharana. Bishnupur with its terracotta architecture and Baluchari sarees also have a huge tourism potential. Thus, the Department of Tourism also wishes to promote this festival to draw in more foreign revenue.

Bidusi Kalapini Komkali

The festival will be on from February 01 to February 03 and will take place in front of the oldest music college of Asia—the Ramsharan Music College. So why wait? Pack your bags and head for a musical journey in the midst of architecture that speaks historical tales of yester years. 

Ronu Majumdar