Banaras Utsav: Melting pot of arts, crafts, music, books

New Delhi, Oct 4 : Art aficionados, cultural connoisseurs and litterateurs have a new destination later this month with the Banaras Utsav debuting in India's cultural calendar.

One of the oldest and colourful cities of India will host the four-day festival starting Oct 24 at various venues, including ghats, with people from art, music, handicrafts and literature exchanging ideas and exhibiting their works.

It is being organised by Banaras Utsav Committee comprising people from diverse backgrounds with the aim of promoting cultural heritage.

"Banaras has a lot to do with music, songs, plays and dances. It is the historical heritage of our city that we wish to promote," Ashok Kumar Gupta, an organiser said at a press conference here Friday.

Diplomat-author Pawan Verma said this initiative should be a message for India that each state should have a festival like this in their events calendar.

"Banaras is an in-built product. In order to give it a fillip, an event like this was required," said Upendra Kumar Gupta, a committee member.

The organisers are hoping to make it an annual affair.

There will be discussions, seminars and demonstrations to develop more exchanges between the audience and eminent authors, painters, artists and photographers.

Artist Jatin Das's work will also be exhibited.

There is special emphasis on promoting Hindi language and poetry, hence lovers of the language are in for a treat with lyricist Gulzar and poet Ashok Vajpeyi gracing the festival.

Author Amish Tripathi and Jerry Pinto besides other prominent names will participate in panel discussions.

Gupta who comes from the hospitality sector sounded confident that an event like this will also boost tourism and business in the city.

"When events like this take place in a city, tourists flow in automatically. We are hoping it should be a fruitful event for everyone," he said.

--IANS (Posted on 04-10-2013)

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