Correspondent

Department of Tourism draws up annual calendar

Toshali national crafts fair to be held from December 15 to 27 in the city

International food festival to be held at Ekamra Haat from January 12 to 20

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to attract more tourists to the State and retain their flow for an extended period in the golden triangle of Puri-Konark-Bhubaneswar, the Department of Tourism has drawn up its annual festival calendar for the forthcoming tourism season.

The series of festivals would kick off with the five-day 19th annual Konark festival of Indian classical dances from December 1 to 5 in the specially-designed open air theatre with the famous Sun temple forming its backdrop. Modelled after the famous Khajuraho festival, it attracts a large number of tourists and connoisseurs from India and abroad, said tourism director R.N. Nanda. The event would be followed by the Toshali national crafts fair in the State capital from December 15 to 27, he added.

Ekamra Utsav, the temple city festival, designed to develop Bhubaneswar as a major tourists’ attraction as city of tradition and modernity, would unfold on January 10. Spread over 10 days, it would have four major segments -- classical dance, martial dance, classical music and food festival -- to lure tourists of varied tastes. While Kalinga national festival of martial dances, the only of its kind in India, would be mounted atop the Dhauli hills on January 10 and 11, the Mukteswar International Odissi Dance Festival would be staged on the Mukteswar temple complex from January 14 to 16, the director said. The Rajarani National Classical Music Festival would be underway from January 18 to 20 on the sprawling green lawns of the famous Rajarani temple, he added.

An international food festival will be mounted at Ekamra Haat in the heart of the City from January 12 to 20, he stated.

Sreekshetra utsav

The pilgrim’s paradise of Puri would have the Sreekshetra Utsav from January 25 to 31. The festival would attempt to highlight the rich culture of Puri in particular and Orissa in general showcasing traditional dance, music, cuisine, crafts and handlooms, it was learnt.

For the first time, the department has envisioned the annual Satakosia Eco Festival on the banks of the Mahanadi River to woo the nature and wildlife lovers.