A scintillating and heart rendering performance by artists from Kashmir, Delhi and Egypt mesmerised the audience on the first day of three-day sufi festival that started at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) on the banks of famous Dal lake.
The festival being jointly organised by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), Indian Council for Cultural Relations and J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages was held last evening in collaboration with the departments of Information, Tourism and Doordarshan.
The ambience of the conference hall with rich spiritual music and dance took the audience into ecstasy and heavenly bliss.
The festival has been organised to commemorate the 50 years of the establishment of J&K Cultural Academy and to bring home the message that Kashmir, which over the ages has symbolised peace, mutual harmony and togetherness still has the image of being an abode of rishis, sufis and munis.
Governor Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha, while highlighting the importance of music in our daily lives, said it believes in no boundaries and has the capacity to transcend all barriers to reach hearts and souls.
He said the Amarnath yatra is a unique symbol of Kashmir's rich pluralistic ethos, through which the message of togetherness and peace spreads all along.
The governor said the artists of the Central Asia are also participating in the 3-day musical bonanza this year, while the artists of Pakistan have been performing since the inception of the fest.
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in his address said the main motive for organising such festivals was to highlight the concept of love, peace and patience which was the intrinsic essence of Sufism.
Azad, while referring to various dynasties who ruled Kashmir over the ages, said the culture of Kashmir has always remained synonymous with mutual brotherhood and tolerance.
President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations Dr Karan Singh while explaining the job of ICCR said that about 50 years ago, it was established to promote cultural ties between the neighbouring countries.
Expressing satisfaction over the substantial improvement in the situation of the state, Singh hoped that the day is not too far when Kashmir would again be a paradise.
The programmes presented in the festival included sterling performances by M Yaqoob Sheikh and Radhika Chopra who presented Kashmiri Sufiana Mouseeqi and Sufi Kalam respectively.