India is a country where there is no scarcity of vibrant culture and festivals. Go to any corner of the country and you will find an event or a local festival that showcases the spirited culture of the place such as the Modhera Dance Festival which is just around the corner.
This festival of classical dance, music, culture, and art is a shining beacon to the diverse culture of northern Gujarat. It attracts a huge crowd of national and international admirers of classical music, dance, and art. This year, it will be held from 19th January to 21st January.
This prestigious festival of Gujarat gained an immense reputation among art lovers. It is considered to be an ideal time to visit Gujarat during the festival because it attracts tourists from all over the world. Other than enjoying the spectacular back to back shows, tourists can enjoy the architecture of the Sun Temple.
It is organized by the Gujarat Tourism Corporation in Modhera, Mehsana district of Northern Gujarat. The Modhera festival is locally known as Uttarardh Mahotsav. It is celebrated to promote the age-old art, dance form, and culture that our country is proud to have. Artists, dancers, and musicians come from every corner of the country to take part in this extravagant show and to exhibit their praiseworthy talents.
The festival takes place at the Modhera Sun Temple grounds. The venue is decorated with colourful lights aiming towards the Sun Temple to make it even more illustrious than it is. The event starts in the evening with back-to-back jaw-dropping performances by the most talented groups and individual artists from around the country which fills the colours on the chilly January nights.
Visitors can enjoy not just one but many different indigenous dance forms in this festival, some of them are Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, and Kathak making Modhera one of the best places to visit in Gujarat.
The Modhera Dance Festival is celebrated on the Sun Temple grounds which was built by the Solanki King Bhimdev I to honour the Sun God or Surya Dev. The name ‘Uttarardh’ comes from two different words - ‘Uttar’ and ‘Ardh’. Uttar means north in English, which comes from another festival which is celebrated just before this one known as ‘Uttarayan’. Uttarayan marks the start of the journey of the sun towards the north. Ardh means half or halfway journey of the sun towards the north.
In ancient India, dance was considered to be very sacred. The ancient dance forms were developed and adopted by the people to honour different gods and goddesses. And this is how this festival came into being. For generations, people of Modhera used to perform a particular dance to honour Surya Dev which later turned into this three-day spectacular event.
If you wish to visit the festival and travel via air then the Ahmedabad airport is the nearest one to Modhera. Taxies and local transports are available to cover the remaining distance. And if you choose to arrive via train then the nearest railway station would be Mehsana which is around 40 kilometers from the Sun Temple. From Mehsana, you board the local bus or hire yourself a private cab for the remaining journey.
Modhera becomes the cultural hub and the most famous travel destination in Gujarat at the time of the dance festival. The Modhera festival is held in the third week of January just after the Uttarayan festival every year. It is the best time to visit the Sun Temple.
If you decide to attend this festival then you can expect a spectacular carnival of folk and classical dance, music, and art. The experts and artists from all over the country and world gather here to showcase their talents.
Other than the dance festival, tourists can grab an opportunity to visit the nearby temples around Modhera such as Becharaji temple, Patan, Unjha, Sidhpur, Mehsana, and Matangi Modheshwari temple.
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