Konark Dance Festival is an event held annually in the backdrop of the exquisite Konark Sun Temple in Odisha. Classical performers of every age group descend on Konark to showcase their musical and dancing skills, to promote this age-old monument. Handicrafts and sculptures are also put on display to showcase the hidden talent of the region. Held every year between 19 and 21 February, this festival brings together dancers, musicians and cultures from all around the country in a scintillating display of different art forms.
Konark Dance Festival 2020 - Dates and Schedule
The Konark Dance Festival is held every year for 3 days. In 2019, the event is scheduled to happen from 1st February to 3rd February.
Venue Details of Konark Dance Festival
The Festival is held at the Konark amphitheatre, with the spectacular façade of the Sun Temple serving as the magnificent backdrop. As the waves lap up next to the beach, watch the action unfold and witness the glory of art. The Festival is set to start at 6:30 PM, and end at 9:30 PM. After the performances, you are free to go shopping at the many stalls set up in the area or stroll along the calm sea.
Konark Dance Festival - Ticket Price
The Festival is held as a non-profit event for charity, with proceeds going to schools and hospitals.
One day pass: INR 1000 per head
VIP Gold Class ticket: INR 10000 per head
Couples package which includes accommodation, breakfast and VIP access: INR 25,000
You can opt to stay at cheaper hotels outside the main arena as well. It is recommended that you hire a scooter or a taxi in advance if you plan on staying outside the premises, as transport at night may not always be available. You can book tickets at the official website of the Konark Dance Festival.
What to Expect at the Konark Dance Festival - Schedule and Other Details
Prepare to have your senses astounded by award-winning international dancers and artists, as they set the stage on fire with their performances.
Odissi, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Mohiniattam, Kathakali and other Indian classical dance forms are displayed in scintillating performances during these three nights.
Folk and tribal dance forms from Gujarat, Goa, Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha are played out as well, along with eclectic instruments. The sound of the flutes, Veena, drums and other instruments lends a unique melody to the ear.
Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Sun temple, the amphitheatre is decked up in an array of colours, lights, flowers and layers to give way to a magical setup.
Caressed by the breeze cascading through the cashew and casuarina trees, the ambience is perfect for the artful evening.
Boasting of famed artists including Brajeswar Mukherjee, Deb Sankar, Jyoti Shankar Roy, Rupashree Mohapatra, Guru Lingaraj, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Padma Subrahmanyam and Nandini Singh, treat your ears and eyes to classical, folk and tribal dance forms every evening till 9:30 PM. Hindustani music performances and violin recitals are also scheduled.
The crafts bazaar and that is set up outside the arena see artisans and craftsmen from all over the country sell stunning souvenirs including handicrafts, jewellery, embroidered cloth, carved seashells, woodwork, incense, Patta paintings on palm leaves and Pipli appliqué work. The unique opportunity of interacting with the artists themselves is one-of-a-kind. Food stalls from across the country take you on a tour of Indian cuisine. Culinary delicacies that are sure to delight your taste buds are presented on a platter, so brace yourself for a gastronomical ride as well!
How to reach Konark
Konark is easily accessible by road, rail and air. The beach city is connected by road to major cities in Odisha. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the state’s pride, and care has been taken to ensure that tourists can reach the city easily.
By Air: The nearest airport is at Bhubaneshwar, at a distance of 62 kilometres. The Biju Patnaik International Airport is connected to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok internationally. Major Indian cities including New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Lucknow and others are also connected. You can take a taxi or a bus to Konark from the airport.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is at Puri, at a distance of 37 kilometres. The station is linked to most major Indian cities, including New Delhi, Calcutta, Lucknow, Nagpur, Chennai, Bengaluru and others. The Prasanthi Express, Yesvantpur Howrah Express, Guwahati Express, Surat Puri Express, Duronto Express, Tapaswini Express, Nandan Kanan Express, Puri Garib Rath Express and Adi Puri Express are a few trains that ply this route.
By Road: The Golden Triangle Roads are a series of national and state highways that are laid between Konark and Bhubaneswar, passing through Puri as well. You can hire a taxi or a bus to reach Konark from the two cities. The roads are comfortable, and you can expect to cover the distance in one and a half hours.
Within the city, you can find your way around with autos, taxis and cycle rickshaws. While government buses are frequent and cheap, they may not always be comfortable.
Where to stay while in Konark - Accommodation Details
While the VIP couples’ package offers accommodation, you can also opt to stay elsewhere to save on finances. Budget hotels range from INR 700 per night for non-air-conditioned rooms and INR 1000 for air-conditioned rooms. Yatrinivas Konark is the government guest house that is close to the venue as well. You can opt to stay at Puri instead of Konark as well if you are keen on visiting the many tourist spots in Puri. It is advised to rent a vehicle if you want to stay at Puri, for costs as cheap as INR 400 per day.
History of the Konark Dance Festival
India has an extensive history when it comes to dance and art forms. From Kashmir in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, the country boasts of a rich repertoire of dance schools that explore a wide variety of styles. The Konark Dance Festival was started with the intention to revive classical dance styles and integrate them into mainstream Indian diaspora. With the first edition of the festival being held in 1986 at the Konark Natya Mandap, the tradition kicked off to a stunning start. Padmashree Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, the founder-director of the initiative, aims at integrating the beautiful classical art forms ranging from Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Odissi and much more, in the picturesque stage of the Konark Sun Temple. This temple was built in 1225 by King Narasimha Deva, as a homage to the Sun God. The very shape of the temple belies its beauty; carved out of stone to resemble a chariot pulled by seven magnificent horses, the temple is visited by millions of pilgrims and tourists a day.
Dos and don’ts at the Konark Dance Festival
· Do not litter the space, and dispose of plastics appropriately
· Respect the sentiments of all the performers and artists; be critical but do not criticise
· Remember to keep your belongings safe
· Take along a bottle of water to stay hydrated
· Reserve your spot at the festival by booking your ticket online
The dress code at the Konark Dance Festival
It is important that you keep the sensitivities of the locals in mind as you dress for the festival, as the event is scheduled to take place near the Sun temple. Opt for comfortable clothes that allow movement and breathing space so that you can move to the music as well. Cotton, linens and light wools are advised. Men can opt for shirts, tees, trousers, kurtas or jeans. Women can choose between tunics, saris, salwars, tees or long dresses.
Things to Keep in Mind
While the weather in February is pleasant, it is advisable to take along some light wools to brace the chill winds. Make sure to try out Bengali and Odisha delicacies in the street food stalls lining the main market and temple complex. The Bengali fish fry is famous all over the world for its unique flavour and taste, so don’t give it a miss! The Rasgulla sweet is another must-have. If you plan on going shopping outside the festival premises, don’t hesitate to bargain with the local vendors as prices usually tend to be inflated. Seashells, conches, fabric, handicrafts and paintings make for great souvenirs.
Other attractions at Konark
The Sun Temple at Konark is the venue of the dance festival. After the revelries are done, make sure to take a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site to take in its glory. With a rich history and splendid architecture, Konark shines as no other place can. Puri, the popular pilgrimage and tourist site, is 36 kilometres away from the temple. The Jagannath temple at Puri is a must-visit for both the spiritual and adventurous traveller alike. Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Odisha, is famed for its monuments and temples as well and is at a distance of 60 kilometres from Konark. The Lingaraj temple, Rajarani temple, and the Parasurameswara Temple are ideal for serene tourists looking for some tranquillity amidst stellar architecture. If you are one for quiet sunsets and long walks, stroll to the Astaranga Beach or the Konark Sea Beach and let the waves ease you into the night. Contemplate life as you indulge in a beachside picnic. The Ramchandi temple and beach host charming local lores too. History buffs are sure to enjoy Kuruma, an archaeological Buddhist excavation site. The Archaeological Museum at Konark is home to galleries containing artefacts, antiques and memorabilia that traces the history of the region from the very inception of the temple.
This one-of-a-kind festival brings together the many joys of being Indian under one stage. While the Sun temple is a gorgeous location on its own, the Festival adds its unique charm to the locale. Watch incredible India come alive at the Konark Dance Festival, and dance your way into a new life!