Rock on: Enjoy music, dance, art at Mumbai’s Elephanta Festival | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Rock on: Enjoy music, dance, art at Mumbai’s Elephanta Festival

The festival is back at the cave complex after nine years — it was considered too much of a security risk to invite hordes to the area in the wake of Mumbai’s 26/11 terror attacks

mumbai Updated: Jan 27, 2018 23:02 IST
Anesha George
Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts dancers, who performed at the fest.
Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts dancers, who performed at the fest.(HT)

Dance, music and nostalgia abound at the 29th Elephanta Festival, being held over the weekend at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The festival is back at the cave complex after nine years — it was considered too much of a security risk to invite hordes to the area in the wake of the 26/11 terror attacks.

“This festival means a lot to Mumbai and Maharashtra, because it has been celebrated since 1989. This year is a lot more special because we finally got permission to host it in the caves again,” said Vijay Waghmare, managing director of the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), which organises the festival.

Don’t miss it
  • What: 29th Elephanta Festival
  • Where: Gharapuri Island
  • When: January 27 and 28, 6 pm to 9.30 pm

The Elephanta caves are a series of rock-cut Shiva temples situated atop Gharapuri Island, just off the coast of Mumbai. They date back to between the 5th and 8th centuries BCE. Every year, this unique site sees classical and folk performances.

This year, there are Odissi-mandala fusion performances by dancers Zia Nath and Sanatan Chakravarthy, Lavani by Aishwarya and Smruti Badade, a Sufi night featuring folk singers Hans Raj Hans and brothers Puranchand and Lakhwinder Wadali.

There will also be a 15-minute sand art performance by Nitish Bharti, who will narrate the story of the caves and their rich legacy through sand.

“My performance will showcase the cultural importance of the caves and their aesthetic beauty by trying to recreate the sculptures within them,” Bharti says.

“As an artist it is extremely humbling to be able to perform in a place so rich in art and so historically important.”

Other activities will include a treasure hunt, a painting competition and a sculpting contest that pits budding and professional artists against each other to create replicas of the carvings.