Travel ideas for 2012: Culture curry

A look at 115 ways to enjoy the arts across the country.

By Travel Plus, India Today

Andhra Pradesh
1. There is no better place to get educated on the history of an Indian submarine than inside one. INS Kursura, the fourth submarine of the Indian Navy, is now a museum in Vishakapatnam, and is the first of its kind in the country.

2. Classical dances, ghazals, qawwali nights, mushaira… The programme list of the five-day Deccan Festival in Hyderabad is attractive to lovers of the classical forms of dance and music. The pearl and bangle fair and a food festival are wonderful add-ons attracting many. Held at the Qutub Shahi Tombs in February.

3. The awe-inspiring collection of 40,000 exhibits at Salarjung Museum in Hyderabad includes Indian and European sculptures, Persian carpets, Chinese jade and Japanese porcelain. It’s quite a journey as you walk past the veiled Rebecca, Jehangir and Noorjehan’s daggers and the musical clock, with a timekeeper emerging every hour to sound a gong, all under the same roof.

4. Catch a folk dance performance and also see how Assam’s indigenous tribes lived through well-preserved artefacts at Guwahati’s Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, which depicts the art, culture and tradition of the people of Assam.

5. Take a trip to Madhubani and visit the village famous for this art drawn by women through generations. Madhubani art illustrates mythological themes. The area is dotted with clay huts with paintings on walls, though now the women mostly paint on paper, using bamboo sticks.

6. Pick up Mithila paintings from Ajanta store at Fraser Road in Patna. If you ask nicely, they’ll pull out their stock of unframed paintings. Tel: (0612) 222 4432.

7. At the end of every year the venerable ruins of Rajgir come alive with the colour and rhythms of the Rajgir Mahotsav. You can see both classical and folk dances here, or even ballet, and listen to a host of great musicians.

8. With Government Museum & Art Gallery and the Natural History Museum, the Arts Complex in Sector 10 is the city’s art hub. Admire the collection of antiques and Indian art, including Gandhara sculptures, Pahari miniature paintings and relics from the Indus Valley.

9. There’s always something to interest culture aficionados at the little arty hub of Punjab Kala Bhawan in Sector 16. Catch a play, or an art show, dance, poetry sessions, or one of their handicrafts exhibitions.

10. Don’t get dissuaded by the neglected outdoors and you will be rewarded. The Anthropological Museum on Chitrakote Road, Jagdalpur, has a valuable documentation of the regions tribes.

11. The Chakradhar Samaroh at Raigarh is Chhattisgarh’s most distinguished classical arts festival. It dates to nearly a century ago, having been established by Maharaja Bhupdev Singh and taken to soaring heights by Maharaja Chakradhar Singh, a celebrated musician and dancer who developed a form of kathak. Leading artistes participate in the 10-day fest held in August-September.

12. Whether it is Egyptian dancers, Mexican bands or Sufi singers, there is much to choose from at the Delhi International Arts Festival, held annually in the first half of November. Local and foreign artistes put up music and dance shows, plays and much more at about 25 venues across the city.

13. National Gallery of Modern Art has fab exhibitions

14. A look at the three museums in Sanskriti Kendra on MG Road, is a good way to understand India’s cultural heritage. See the rich textiles woven since centuries at the Textile Museum, have a look at the figurines and other objects made by tribal communities at the Museum of Indian Terracotta or admire the sheer range of objects handcrafted by artisans for use in daily life at the very lovely Museum of Everyday Art.

15. While you are in Mehrauli you may also want to take a peek at vintage Buicks, Cadillacs and Austins. Drive to Titus Farm, where automotive collector, Diljeet Titus’s private museum houses about 70 vintage cars. Sure to gladden every car lover’s heart.

16. Accompanied by tablas and harmoniums, a group of ace quawali singers enthralls people every Thursday evening at the Nizamuddin Dargah, when you will meet music lovers of all ages. A performances is also held later at night in the open courtyard of the dargah.

17. Singers from India, Pakistan and other neighbouring countries mesmerise you with the soulful sufi music against the backdrop of Humayun’s Tomb at the three-day Sufi festival held at Nizamuddin. It is held every March to celebrate the life and work of famous Sufi poet, Amir Khusrau.

18. Melodies acquire a new lilt in the outdoors, and at the sprawling Nehru Park, on Panchsheel Marg, has been hosting concerts of Indian classical music called, simply, Music in the Park since 2004. Eight performances are held from April to October, and admission is free. Check local listings when you’re in town.

19. India Habiat Centre’s calendar is packed with film, theatre, music and dance performances, as well as art and photography exhibitions, so you can always find something that suits your taste. On Lodhi Road.

20. Delhi may be far away from Tibet, but part of its history lies right here at the Tibet Museum on Lodhi Road. The displays include items that the Dalai Lama brought with him when he fled his homeland, including exquisite thangkhas dating to the 15th century, Buddha figurines and old currency notes.

21. Started in 2009, as India’s art scene began hotting up, the three-day Art Summit held in the Capital in January now attracts several international and local galleries, who showcase both modern and contemporary art as well as old masters.

22. For those looking to initiate their children into reading books, Eureka Book Store, in Alaknanda market, might be the perfect place to start. It also hosts regular story telling sessions and author meets.

23. With the stunning Purana Qila as a backdrop, the Ananya Cultural Festival celebrates India’s rich cultural heritage with classical dances such as Bharatnatyam and Kathakali. This five-day festival is held every October, opposite Pragati Maidan.

24. To see life in Goan villages visit Big Foot in Loutolim. This model village has life-sized figures and a sound and light show.

25. Labelled a ‘living museum’ as it is still the residence of the Figueiredo family, the Figueiredo Mansion and museum at 376 Loutolim, dates to the early 1600s. It is one of Goa’s last remaining grand mansions.

26. The new Goa Chakra museum happens to be India’s first transportation museum. Take the guided tour and see why this museum is quickly becoming one of the most popular in the country.

27. Laugh with the locals at a ‘tiatr’-a local theatrical performance usually satirical in nature. The Kala Academy has plenty of shows at Campal in Panjim.

28. Among the wide collection of antiques at the Goa State Museum at Panjim, you’ll also see an impressive pair of antique rotary lottery draw machines.

29. The three-day Monte Festival has a little for everyone–Indian and Western Classical music, choirs from India and Portugal and even performances of the elegant dance form of Bharatnatyam against a spectacularly setting sun at Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount in Old Goa.

30. The Museum of Christian Art, called MOCA, in Old Goa has some rare and beautiful artefacts lovingly restored. Fragile textiles, ivory, furniture and statues with unusual details make this museum worth visiting.

31. Come November and Goa is abuzz with filmmakers from more than 65 countries and of course cinema lovers who come to attend the International Film Festival of India.

32. Madhuri Dixit feels that Kathak can be spiritual and Delhi is blessed with Birju Maharaj’s dance school.

33. The stone carvings, superbly sculpted pillars, royal memorabilia like palanquins, howdahs and antique textiles and furniture at the Darbargadh Palace at Gondal gives a glimpse of the erstwhile lifestyle of Indian maharajas. Also interact with relatives and retainers who speak nostalgically about the days when Bhagwat Sinhji ruled Gondal.

34. The events at the three-day long Ahmedabad International Arts Festival, conceptualised by art manager Anupa Mehta, include, apart from art exhibitions, public art installations, workshops and performances. The festival is held in October-November at various venues across the city.

35. There are several interesting museums in Ahmedabad. The best among these is perhaps the Calico Museum of Textiles that displays cloth paintings, embroideries, phulkaris, kalamkaris and brocades. The Indology Museum exhibits sculptures, illustrated Jain manuscripts and miniature paintings. The Shreyas Folk Museum has a fabulous collection of handicrafts, costumes and toys and at the Veechar Utensils Museum, there is a mind boggling collection of utensils.

36. Another interesting museum in the city is the Auto World Museum. Housing the one-man car collection of the late Pranlal Bhogilal, the museum is set in the family’s estate and has many vintage and classic car models. Especially fascinating are the number of Rolls Royce, Hispano Suiza, Daimler and Bentley cars customised for former maharajas and nawabs. On Sardar Patel Ring Road.

37. The underground art gallery, Amdavad ni Gufa, displays the works of the famous painter MF Husain. Designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Balkrishna Doshi, this cave-like museum has domes, curves and an underground tunnel. This is the place where the artsy buzz is–largely because of its location near art and architecture colleges in Kasturbhai Lalbhai Campus.

38. The country’s premier design institute, the National Institute of Design, Paldi Road, holds regular exhibitions of art and design at their art gallery. Shopaholics will enjoy visiting the institute’s design outlet that exhibits works like ceramics, hand bags made of natural fibres, textile and apparel, and stainless steel products made by students.

39. The Natarani open-air amphitheatre in the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad, stages about 80 events including films, theatre, concerts and dance performances between October and May.

40. The folk music festival held in November at Vadnagar commemorates two sisters Tana and Riri, who are said to have cured Akbar’s musician, Tansen, who came down with a burning fever after a fervent rendition of Raag Deepak.

41. Spend an evening catching a play or an exhibition at Epicentre, Gurgaon’s chic cultural hub.

42. Musicals and more at Kingdom of Dreams www.kingdomof

Himachal Pradesh
43. Enjoy Roerich’s canvases at Naggar Hall Estate, his beautifully preserved house cum museum cum art gallery at Naggar. The life of the artist and his family (his wife was the beautiful Bollywood heartthrob Devika Rani) has also been chronicled here. Tel: (01902) 248 590.

44. While taking a stroll at the Mall in Shimla, stop by at Maria Brothers for an interesting range of secondhand and rare vintage books. History lovers will love this antiquarian books shop that may surprise you with some unlikely gems, and also some old maps and lithographs. Close to it is Minerva Bookshop, where you can stock up on local books and maps of the state.

45. Don’t miss the International Himalayan Festival at McLeodganj, a great opportunity to experience Buddhist culture, music and traditions. The festival takes place between December 10 and 12 each year, and commemorates the Nobel Peace Prize given to the Dalai Lama.

Jammu änd Kashmir
46. An erstwhile residence of the Dogra rajas, the Amar Mahal Palace Museum and Library in Jammu, is designed like a European chateau. Amongst its exhibits is a gold throne weighing 120 kg and a beautiful collection of rare Pahari miniatures.

47. More than a century old, Sri Pratap Singh Museum in Srinagar showcases Kashmir’s rich history. This collection of Dogra dynasty rulers includes textiles, among which are some rare shawls, apart from manuscripts, sculptures, music instruments and weaponry. The Valley’s decorative arts and crafts form the bulk, with the inventory showing 837 exquisite objects.

48. Enjoy a session of Paika, a stylised dance form replicating the rituals of war performed by the Munda community in the village of Palika, about 25 km from the state capital, Ranchi.

49. Catch a spirited act of Hunta, a hunting dance performed by the Santhals of the Chhota Nagpur region.

50. When in Saraikela, a few hours from Ranchi, attend a session of Saraikela Chhau, one of the three main disciplines of the highly acclaimed Chhau dance form of East India.

51. Listen to the lilting strains of Jhumar, a popular music form in tribal Jharkhand at any of the Santhal villages during a harvest festival. Attend a wedding ceremony and witness the Ghora (horse) dance, where performers wearing horse puppets keep musical pace to a lively, cracking tune.

52. Ranga Shankara in JP Nagar, Bangalore is a buzzing theatre complex. Visit for some great regional theatre performances, intellectual discussions and some great local food at the cafe.

53. Learn nuances of classical dance at Nrityagram

54. Catch a play at Jagriti amphitheatre. In the same premises is the Lumbini stage, where you can hop across and encourage up and coming stand-up comedians.

55. Winter brings its own cheer for the culture vultures in Bangalore. The Bengaluru Habba, a festival that runs for almost a month, fills the city’s calendar with music, dance, martial arts and theatre performances. It is held at different venues across the city from January 13 to 31, 2012.

56. Lose yourself in the soulful strains of Sufi music at the Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah, in the town of Gulbarga, in north Karnataka.

57. Revel in the clean lines and evocative colours of Ravi Varma’s works in Chitra Gallery in Thiruvananthapuram. Comprising two bungalows, the gallery also houses works from the royal Travancore family, Tibetan thangkas, 17th century Chinese and Japanese paintings, and works from Roerich and the Bengal school. In Museum Complex, Thiruvananthapuram.

58. Watch a Kathakali performance, the famous classical folk form that requires a very elaborate make up and where god definitely lies in the details. The art is in the expressions of the performer, a hand gesture here, a deft movement there. Margi theatre in Thiruvananthapuram is a good place to catch one.

59. Visit Natyashram in Thiruvananthapuram where the highly acclaimed Daksha Sheth and her family combine traditional and contemporary performing art forms and run it like a traditional gurukul.

60. Try your hand at the martial art of Kalaripayattu, a vigorous form that requires immense strength, stamina, dexterity and fluidity of movement. A performance that turns kicks, strikes, grappling and use of weapons into art. If you like it a lot, you could also take a short-term course at CVN Kalari in Kozhikode.

61. Drawing inspiration from both Bharatnatyam and Kathakali is Kerala’s classical dance form of Mohiniyattam. It is usually performed by women in a traditional white sari with bright golden border.

62. Kalamandalam in Cheruthuruthy is an ideal place for a glimpse of traditional performing art forms of the state like kathakali, mohiniattam, kudiyattam.

63. Watch a theyyam ritual, dating back thousands of years, where devotees participate in a unique performing art form seeking blessings from the local deity. Popular in North Kerala, every village has its own version of theyyam and the entire community, irrespective of caste and class, participate.

64. Similar to the Kalaripayattu in Kerala is the Kolkali dance, which is performed only by male dancers across the islands. While Kolkali is performed with only small sticks, Parichakali, another local dance form, involves the use of shields and wooden swords. The lava dance can be seen only at Minicoy Island. Performers line themselves up in pairs with drums and then dance to the beat; slowly the beat gains momentum and they form a circle as frenzy takes over.

Madhya Pradesh
65. Sarod Ghar in Gwalior is the ancestral home of Ustad Haiz Ali Khan, father-guru of sarod player Amjad Ali Khan. Rare musical instrument are extremely well preserved within these serene quarters.

66. Amongst the most spectacular presentations of its kind in the country, it’s the backdrop of the majestic Man Mandir Palace that gives the Gwalior Fort’s son-et-lumiere the edge. And as Amitabh Bachchan’s baritone adds soul to stone you’ll be transported to another milieu, where Raja Man Singh and Mrignaynee’s love affair leaves you enthralled one moment and the story of Rani of Jhansi’s sacrifice makes you nostalgic in the next.

67. Against the backdrop of the beautifully carved temples of Khajuraho, ghungroos resonate as leading dancers, from India and the world over, perform different classical dances during the very famous Khajuraho Festival of Dance. To be held from February 1-6, this year.

68. Housed in a palace built by Chhatrasal, Maharaja Chhatrasal Museum in Dhubela is a short detour from the Chhatarpur-Nowgaon highway that leads to Khajuraho. There are eight galleries with a significant collection but what makes the halt worthwhile is range of uncommon Shakti cult sculptures.

69. Located in lush Shamla Hills the Tribal Habitat Museum in Bhopal is a laudable recreation of the tribal way of life. Full-scale dwellings with detailed information and visual representation of different customs will give you valuable insight into lesser known attributes about the numerous tribes of central India.

70. Madhya Pradesh is home to celebrated classical musicians and dancers. Do carve out time to include some of these distinguished festivals held at heritage venues: Tansen Sangeet Samorah, Gwalior (November-December); Dhrupad Samaroh, Bhopal (October-November); Kumar Gandharva Samaroh, Dewas (April); Allauddin Khan Sangeet Samaroh, Maihar, Satna (February); Nimar Utsav, on the banks of Narmada in Maheshwar (November).

71. In Bhopal, the Lokrang festival in Jan showcases rich tribal culture.

73. The All-India Kalidasa Festival in Ujjain is a tribute to the great playwright-poet. The six-day festival, held in November, celebrates classical Sanskrit literature and traditional theatre. The inaugural day sees an original Kalidasa play, in the conventional style. Classical dramas, dances, ballets and music concerts follow over the next few days.

74. Come February and Kala Ghoda area in South Mumbai turns into a pedestrian friendly zone, where art aficionados can indulge in a mind boggling array of experiences, be it film screenings, music concerts, dance performances, theatre shows, and the now famous literary festival.

75. You haven’t been to Mumbai unless you’ve sat in on a performance at the famous Prithvi Theatre, built in the memory of legendary actor Prithviraj Kapoor.

76. Let Mumbai’s Bay Area vibes resonate as you catch a dance, music or theatrical performances at the National Centre for Performing Arts at Nariman Point.

77. Watch in awe and return for more at the best of India’s contemporary classical music and dance performances at the annual Sawai Gandharva festival held in December in Pune. It will celebrate its 60th year in 2012.

78. Don’t miss the performances at Ratan Thiyam’s Chorus Repertory Theatre that is internationally acclaimed for its plays. The red roofed building is the focus of Imphal’s most interesting cultural activities. Tel: (0385) 2410578.

79. Hlakungpui Mual or Poet’s Square in Khawbung is the town’s version of the Hollywood walk of fame, a memorial to prominent Mizo poets and writers. The dream began in 1986 when two great poets, Patea and Damhauha, both natives of Khawbung village, were reburied at the site. Today Poets’ Square boasts 33 poets and writers and new ones are inducted every year on its anniversary.

80. Celebrate the 11 days of Dhanu Jatra held in the town of Bargah that becomes a massive open air theatre–they claim it to be the world’s largest. The tiny town turns into the legendary city of Mathura while nearby villages, rivers and buildings are given names from the Mahabharat.

81. Catch a traditional dance performance at Rabindra Mandeep, on Sachivajaya Marg in Bhubaneswar.

82. There could not have been a more appropriate venue than the beautiful Sun Temple to celebrate Indian classical dance at the famous Konark Dance Festival held every December.

83. Come December and Jalandhar resonates with music at the Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan, the oldest Indian classical music festival in the world. It is held annually at the Samadhi of Baba Hariballabh. The festival draws practising musicians from every genre of Indian classical music and the tradition has been continuing for nearly one and a half decades. Check the details of the relatively low-key festival at

84. Visit the Central Museum, or Albert Hall in the pink city of Jaipur, for a fine array of tribal crafts, decorative arts, costumes, drawings and musical instruments and miniature paintings. Located at the centre of the expansive Ram Niwas Bagh, the building constructed in 1876, is a lovely Victorian architectural feat and worth visiting for itself.

85. Catch your favourite author at the now extremely famous and popular Jaipur Literature Festival, Asia-Pacific’s largest literary festival, featuring Indian and international authors. It has an expansive programme of literary talks and debates. Recently it has expanded to include films and famous writers and poets from Bollywood often feature. The festival also has musical performances each of the five evenings. The lineup of authors is always fantastic, though it keeps changing till the last minute. So get the final list on

86. Held every February in Nagaur, the Sufi Festival is becoming quite popular and brings together some of the best sufi acts from India and abroad. A great atmosphere to get your sufi fix.

87. The vintage collection at the Classic Car Museum in Udaipur

88. If you like vintage cars then the collection at Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur is also worth a dekko. Shiny and functional, they are clearly the Maharana’s pride and joy.

89. Watch the Kalbelia dance in the desert around Jaisalmer. Any tour company organising an overnight trip to the dunes can also throw in a folk performance and the Kalbelia dance with whirling moves and brightly coloured outfits is the highlight.

90. At the City Palace in Udaipur there is a whole gallery devoted to just crystals that will delight the heart of those who like shiny expensive things. This Crystal Gallery has quite an enviable collection from all over the world, handcrafted and imported especially for the maharaja, and includes everything from crockery to a crystal bed!

91. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok is an important reference centre for Buddhist scholarship. It houses a museum and a library and is a great learning centre for Tibet and the Himalayas.

Tamil Nadu
92. Cholamandal Artists’ Village in Injambakkam, Chennai, is a unique but loose conglomeration of about 30 artists living in one area and is something of a milestone in the country’s art history. Wander around and encounter a painter or a sculptor at every turn. It’s a great ambience for lovers of art.

93. Visit Chennai during Madras Music Season, a five-week to two-month long musical and cultural extravaganza starting in December, encompassing dance, drama, music, including non-Carnatic forms as well. Dozens of sabhas all over the city organise concerts by leading names as well as upcoming artistes; the sabhas compete vigorously to book the best names in every field.

94. The National Art Gallery on Pantheon Road in Chennai has a display of ancient Tanjore paintings and houses the Ravi Varma Painting Gallery with rare sculptures and paintings.

95. Get a glimpse of The Other Festival, a kind of avant-garde fringe festival held in the first week of December in Chennai. This is the platform for contemporary and experimental dance, music, drama, art and other cultural forms, initiated by dancer Anita Ratnam and director and critic Ranvir Shah back in 1998.

96. Kalakshetra in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, was set up by Rukmini Devi Arundale in 1936, and is an institution devoted to dance, music, textiles and weaving. It follows the ancient gurukula system and has students from all over the world.

97. Attend the Natyanjali Dance Festival, a five-day event comprising all classical dance forms dedicated to Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, against the beautiful backdrop of the Chidambaram Temple that has intricate carvings of Lord Shiva in 108 of the classic Bharatnatyam stances. Starts annually on Mahashivaratri. The town of Chidambaram is about 75 km from Pondicherry.

98. Listen in to beautiful Carnatic music during the eight-day Thyagaraja Music Festival dedicated to the 17th century saint-composer Thyagaraja at Thiruvaiyuru in Thanjavur. Don’t miss the gathered musicians and audience singing his pancharatna krithis in tandem.

99. See more than 44,000 palm leaf manuscripts, ancient paintings and delightful writing materials, and other odd things–including details from a book on ancient Chinese torture–at the Saraswati Mahal Library located in Thanjavur.

100. Visit the Museum of Folk Art in Kancheepuram established in a 400-year old traditional house for a fascinating glimpse of local history, with both everyday and festive objects on display. On Lingappa Street.

101. Kumarghat, 140 km from Agartala, is famous for its pineapples but also for the Cheraw dance of the Darlong community. This famous dance is performed to the rhythmic beat of bamboos and you can witness it during any of the local festivals.

Uttar Pradesh
102. The Archeological Museum in Dampier Park has a good collection of Buddhist and Jain sculptures from the Mathura School that thrived between the 1-6th century. The piece de resistance is the standing Buddha, counted among Gupta-period masterpieces. Also worth seeing are the seated Buddha, art from Kushana and railings carved exquisitely with floral motifs and human figures.

103. Catch a Kathak performance in Lucknow to relive the Wajid Ali Shah era

104. Founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, Banaras Hindu University is, of course, a reputed university the world over. Within its historical campus, the Bharat Kala Bhawan, started by none other than Rabindranath Tagore, has a museum with a fabulous collection of miniature paintings, sculptures, contemporary art and bronzes. There is also a gallery dedicated to the ancient city of Varanasi, findings from excavations and old etchings of the city, as well as works of artistes such as Nicholas Roerich and Alice Boner, sitting side by side by our own greats like Jamini Roy.

105. Among collectibles are the miniature paintings of the famed Garhwal School of Painting. View a rare collection of this school of painters at the Museum in the H.N.B University in Srinagar, not in Kashmir, but a town in Pauri Garhwal region.

106. Get to know Peeth, a decorative and ritualistic folk art found in most homes and temples of the region. These handmade murals are painted around the seat of the gods and goddesses with rice paste and colourful natural dyes.

West Bengal
107. Marvel at the grand Marble Palace in Kolkata, a gorgeous old 19th century mansion built by art aficionado Raja Rajendra Mullick, back in 1840. The facade has large Corinthian pillars and the three floors are filled with European sculptures, paintings and grand works of marble. On Muktaram Babu Street.

108. More than 150 years old, Kolkata’s National Library was the first public library of this stature in India. It was set up by Lord Metcalfe in 1836 and is a labyrinthine maze of corridors lined with books of the rarest sort. One can spend a day wading through the treasures here. On Belvedere Road, Alipore.

109. Take in an exhibition at Academy of Fine Arts, on Cathedral Road, for a fine experience and to mingle with artsy people that Kolkata is rather known for. From budding artists to stalwarts in the field, this gallery will give you a chance to stay up to date. Check any local newspaper for daily listings and details.

110. Catch a play or film at Nandan, the epicentre of cultural activities in Kolkata, on Bose Road. The place is always buzzing with foreign film festivals, international dance performances and local, national and international theatre performances. It was innaugurated by none other than Satyajit Ray back in 1985.

111. Visit the various art galleries of Kolkata. The two we like are the heavyweight CIMA on Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue and Chitrakoot Art Gallery on Gariahat Road. These galleries have radical new art as well as the big names from the Bengal School and are well worth a visit.

112. Started in 1952, the Dover Lane Music Conference is one of the best Indian classical music festivals in the country. For three days, stalwarts of the field gather together on the same stage to spin magic with their voices and their instruments of choice. Originating in a tiny bylane of South Calcutta called Dover Lane, the festival has become one of the cultural highlights of the state and greats such as Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Allauddin Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravishankar, Ustad Bismillah Khan and many more have graced the Dover Lane stage.

113. One of the oldest museums, not just in Kolkata but in Asia, the Indian Museum on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. More than a million exhibits in more than 60 galleries, including rare displays from the Mohenjodaro and Harappan civilisation. You can spend days here, wandering through the corridors of history, and return for more.

114. Revisit Tagore’s life at Jorasanko Thakur Bari, the ancestral home in Kolkata.

115. Patachitra paintings and other rare examples of folk art are showcased at the Gurusaday Museum of Bengal Folk Art, Bratachrigram, in Joka, near the IIM campus.

116. Make your way to the Baul Festival held on the banks of the Ajay River at Joydeb village in Kenduli, during the festival of Maker Sakranti in January. Baul music is truly soul stirring and this is a musical extravaganza where hundreds of bauls, or wandering folk minstrels, gather from all over the state and sing and enthrall for three whole days. The setting is quaint and the music of quite another level. This is an atmosphere of joy and musical ecstasy, and one that lovers of folk music must not miss at any cost. Joydeb Kenduli is off the Panagarh-Morgram Highway, you can hire a car from Bolpur, Shantiniketan to get there.

Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress | Epicentre