Konark Dance Festival is a grand three to five-day affair that is organized every year in the backdrop of the magnificent Sun temple in Konark, Odisha. It is among the biggest dance festivals that are organized in the state of Odisha. Many famous names in the music and dance industry of India take part in this do and perform live.
The state takes pride in the celebration of this magnum fiesta. Along with cultural programs, the festival is also known to celebrate the different regional dance forms from every corner of India.
It is the perfect place for tourists who wish to explore the cultural side of the country. The dance festival takes place in the amphitheater of Konark Temple and, thus, being a part of it is really gratifying.
Talking about Konark Temple, it is a beautiful and very famous historical tourist site that has a larger-than-life architecture. It is also declared a world heritage site and thus is accumulated by numerous visitors every year.
Konark Dance Festival is a major highlight of this temple, dedicated to the Sun God. If you are up for a trip that includes both entertainment and panoramic views then this temple on the banks of the Bay of Bengal is your go-to place in Odisha.
History of Konark Dance Festival
Konark Dance Festival was founded by Padamashree Guru Gangadhar Pradhan in the 20th century, with the aim of identifying and working on the progress of different Indian classical dance forms, which are part of the integral heritage of India.
Also, these dance forms are majorly linked to temples. Konark Temple is deeply connected to India’s soulful heritage of classical dance and music. The temple is one of the reasons to keep organizing such events & festivals. The Konark Temple was constructed by Raja Narasingha Deva I who hailed from the Ganga Dynasty.
The first Konark Dance Festival was organized in the year of 1989 by Odissi Guru and the founder of Konark Dance Festival, Padamashree Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.
Major Attractions of Konark Dance Festival 2023
1. Cultural Activities
Classical dance and music performances are staples of this festival. Internationally famous artists show their talents in Indian classical dance forms such as Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Manipuri, Kathak, and Kuchipudi.
2. Folk & Tribal Dance and Music Performances
You will get to enjoy performances on several folks and tribal dance forms of Bihar, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and more. One can enjoy melodious music of the flute, drums, tabla, and even veena played by talented folk artists.
3. Violin Brothers
Deb Sankar and Jyoti Shankar Roy are the founders of Violin Brothers. The former has performed at several international events and has also composed music on several songs of Rabindra Nath Tagore. He attended Meridian Arts Centre as a guest conductor which is a great honor in itself. In the past years, he has graced the stage of the Konark Dance Festival with his soulful music. Jyoti Shankar Roy, on the other hand, is also known for his tremendous contribution to Indian Classical Music. Together, Violin Brothers have expanded the horizons of Indian classical music, composing soulful violin melodies.
4. Brajeswar Mukherjee
He has been a disciple of Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty since 1997. He is known for his talent in playing Indian musical instruments including Tabla, Veena, and Harmonium. In several musical events, he has even accompanied his guru on harmonium.
5. Artist Line-ups
Meenakshi Sheshadri, a famous Bollywood actress, who is known for her South Indian classical dancing talent too, also graces the Konark Dance Festival. She is a trained dancer of Kathak, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, and Odissi. Other major artists are Guru Lingara, Padma Subrahmanyam, Nandini Singh, and Rupashree Mohapatra.
6. The Lit-up Amphitheatre
The amphitheater, where the dance festival is organized, is fully lit up with fairy lights. It is situated against the magnificent Konark Temple. Decorated with colors, lights, and beautiful flowers, the whole ambiance ensures a great experience for the audience and artists to get involved and enjoy. Also, the Konark Temple is situated amidst the charming coconut, casuarina, and mango trees that hold a positive environment. One can surely have a good time while exploring the temple and enjoying the cultural dance festival of Konark.
7. The Craft Bazaar
Apart from exploring cultural extravaganza, one can enjoy roaming in the crafts bazaar. It is set outside the amphitheater showcasing the works of talented artisans and craftsmen across the country. The articles include jewelry, handicrafts, embroidered clothes, woodwork, and paintings on palm leaves, etc.
8. The Food Fiesta
There are several food stalls aligned that will let you explore different Indian cuisines from across the country. Do not miss this unique opportunity to relish the different regional cuisines of India.
How to Reach Konark Dance Festival 2023
To reach Konark, you will need to cover a total distance of about 1,803, 1,716, 1,472, 500 km from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata respectively. Here are the details on how you can reach here in a hassle-free manner via the following means of public transport.
The nearest airport is the Biju Patnaik International Airport which is situated in Bhubaneswar city in Odisha. It is just 62 kilometers away from Konark Town via State Highway 13 which will take around 1 to 2 hours. The airport is well-equipped with hotels and restaurants and has got great roadway connectivity within Odisha and with other neighboring states.
From Chennai - Board Air Asia, IndiGo, Vistara airlines from Chennai Airport. The airfares start from INR 3,000-4,000
From Gwalior - Board Spicejet, IndiGo, Vistara airlines from Gwalior Airport. The airfares start from INR 6,000-7,000
From Pune - Board Air Asia, IndiGo, Vistara airlines from Pune Airport. The airfares start from INR 5,000-6,000
Puri Railway Station is the nearest railway station which is just 31 kilometers away from Konark City. Malatipatpur Railway Station is another nearest railway station to Konark. It is approximately 36 kilometers away from Konark which will take around 40 minutes via Puri-Konark Marine Drive. The railway station serves Malatipatpur village and other nearby regions.
Konark is well linked to other cities through the Orissa State Public Transport buses. Private Volvo bus facilities are also available from Bhubaneshwar (66 km), Puri to Konark (36 km), Cuttack (80.5 km), and Gorakhnath (72 km). Public buses, as well as the state buses both, cost a very minimum amount to reach the place. Apart from the buses, you can also choose to travel via cabs or your own vehicle.