The Ellora AjantaFestival is an age-old tradition in Aurangabad that focuses on appraising and appreciating the culture as well as the architecture and monuments of the district. The festival lasts for three days and is a vibrant blend of activity that entices individuals to visit and take interest and gives them treasured memories in return. The Ellora Ajanta Festival aims at putting the rich cultural history of India in the spotlight. Held at the Soneri Mahal, it showcases a mix of classical and folk performances from the best talents in India. It was held on 13th January 2019.
Where is Ellora Ajanta Festival held?
The Ellora Ajanta Dance Festival is hosted at the Soneri Mahal since the year 2002.
When is Ellora Ajanta Festival Celebrated? Date of Event
The Ellora Ajanta Dance Festival is held in October or January for three days.
Estimated Date for 2019: January 13, 2019
History of Ellora Ajanta Festival
The Ellora Ajanta Festival was initially organised in and near the Ellora Caves or more specifically the world heritage site of the Kailash Temple of the Ellora Caves. The Kailash Temple is known for containing the largest monolithic sculpture in the world which was built over the course of 150 years by at least 700 people’s efforts. The Ellora Caves are a cluster of 34 caves located on the slopes of Chamadri Hills, 30 kilometres away from Aurangabad. These caves were said to be mainly devoted to Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religions between 600 and 1000 AD and the location of the festival here, made it shine even brighter than its usual mystic sheen. However, in the year 2002, the location of the festival was shifted to the Soneri Mahal which in itself is a magnificent location.
The festival has also been sculpted by the various dynasties that ruled over Aurangabad, such as the Mughals, the Khilji Dynasty and the Yadavas. These dynasties succeeded in adding a little bit of their own culture to the festival, making it a fusion of various forms of art and culture and creating a unique atmosphere.
Purpose & Vision of the Event
The initial purpose for starting the Ellora Ajanta Dance Festival was to promote the art and culture that is embedded in Aurangabad, and that plays a massive part in the understanding of the society. The festival brings together individuals from various fields who are interested in relevant topics and also helps people from all around the country showcase their talent. In recent years, the festival is also used to enhance and promote the historical and architectural sites in and around Aurangabad. Sites such as Daulatabad, which has one of the worlds best preserved medieval forts, Bibi ka Maqbara which was built by Aurangzeb’s son for his mother and is a replica of the Taj Mahal, and the water mill of Panchakki have increasingly gained popularity because of the Ellora Ajanta Dance Festival.
Events at the Ellora Ajanta International Festival
The three-day Ellora Ajanta Dance Festival is organised by the Aurangabad Festival Committee Chairman who is the Divisional Commissioner of Aurangabad and in association with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). This festival is a back to back blast of culture and art in the form of dance performances in Kathak and Odissi, instrumentals, vocals and bhajans as well as game competitions. Recently, Kalagram, a craft hut, has also begun a fest called Lokotsav alongside the Ellora Ajanta Dance Festival which focuses on the fine arts as well as pottery and crafts.
How to Reach Soneri Mahal
By Air: The nearest airport to the Soneri Mahal and other locations of the festival is Aurangabad Airport.
By Rail: The place is connected to major states by way of the south-central railway line. Individuals can travel through the Mumbai- Aurangabad route via Manmad as well Pune.
By Road: Aurangabad in Maharashtra is well connected to all major cities and metropolitans by way of easily accessible and efficient road networks. Buses, Taxis and Private Cars can be used to reach the desired location.