If you are free this weekend, head to the Elephanta Island. This year’s edition of the Elephanta Festival, a music and arts extravaganza that has been organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) since 1989, aims to mesmerise culture vultures. “The idea is to promote Indian culture and expose it to the world,” says Dr Jagdish Patil, managing director, MTDC.
The two-day festival will witness performances by Indian and international artistes like vocalist Shweta Pandit, bass player Elie Afif and veena player Punya Srinivas, among others.
“We have western classical performances and musicians performing as well. One interesting act is by Manjari Chaturvedi, the creator and only person who performs Sufi Kathak. Indian classical vocalist Prabhakar Karekar is performing for the first time at the festival,” says Patil.
This is also the first time that the festival will be held close to the heritage site. Earlier, it was held on the island and not near the caves. “This time around, the Archeological Survey of India and the Ministry of Culture have given us permission to organise the festival near the caves,” says Patil.
The festival also offers activities like a painting competition. For history and heritage enthusiasts, Dr GB Deglurkar, archaeologist and president, Deccan College, Pune, will share his knowledge on the detailing of the sculptures and caves on Elephanta Island. “He will also conduct a guided tour for the crowd,” says Patil.