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February 19, 2010

Taj Mahotsav showcases Indian culture in Agra

     Agra: The 10-day annual festival, Taj Mahotsav, dedicated to promotion of art and crafts and celebration of local heritage and culture, commenced at the Shilpgram, near Agra on Thursday. Organised by the state's Tourism Department, Taj Mahotsav saw a huge participation on the first day of the event, despite the recent blasts in Pune. The Taj Mahotsav, a much-awaited event, has been described as a festive introduction to India and Uttar Pradesh. The festival showcases the country's extensive arts, crafts and culture besides folk music, and classical dance performances, and offers a variety of entertainment including elephant and camel rides, games, and a food festival. "The aim is to show unity in diversity. This is the most important message. This is our India, our culture, our tradition," said Sudhir Narayan, Secretary, Cultural Organising Committee. Taj Mahotsava is a tribute to the legendary master craftsmen and artists in visual and performing arts. It renders an apt platform to showcase traditional cultural heritage of Mughal era. Taj Mahotsava showcase folk music and dances of Bundelkhand, Nautanki (theatre), Sapera dances of Rajasthan, Lavani (dramatised folklore narration) of Maharashtra, Kathakali of Kerala and numerous other folk dances. As for handicrafts and novelties, the entire Shilpgram becomes a colourful market of antiques, woodwork and ivory work. Exquisite crafts like marble inlays, woodcarvings from Saharanpur, brass and other metal-ware from Moradabad, handmade carpets of Badohi, the blue pottery of Khurja, the Chikan fabric art of Lucknow and the silk of Banaras are exhibited during the Taj Mahotsava.
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