A cultural extravaganza will unfold this January at Chhattisgarh’s third Sirpur Festival being held between 16 and 18 January. Names that will set the tone of cultural immersion in the state for 2015 include – Pandit Birju Maharaj; Anuradha Paudwal; Pandit Rahul Sharma; Grammy award winner Pete Lockett along with tribal percussionists from Taal Chhattisgarh; Yasmin Singh with her Kathak performance; Leonard Eto & Group who’ll be presenting Taiko Drumming, the traditional drums of Japan by; Purnashree Raut and Lucky Mohanty Troupe with their Odissi presentation; and many other artistes.
The vivid hues from the world of arts will synthesise at Chhattisgarh for a third time to commemorate the diverse culture of the country. World artistes will join Indian maestros to further the brotherhood created by the arts.
This one-of-a-kind festival will be set up against the backdrop of the historic city of Sirpur, 84km from the capital Raipur. The city was an exalted Buddhist centre from the 6th the 10th century A.D. and was visited by the famous 7th Century Chinese pilgrim and scholar, Hieun Tsang. The magical city of Sirpur is still a veritable tourist spot with a number of ancient temples and ongoing archeological excavations.
What to Expect:
The performances start from 5.30 in the evening and go on until 10.30 p.m. Thousands of people wait with bated breath to see the stage come alive with different performances. Since it’s an open air setting it is recommended to carry something warm to counter the wintery chill of Chhattisgarh. The performances range between 15 minutes to over an hour. It is best to hire a cab from Raipur and keep it until the end, and return to Raipur for the night.
Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh is well connected to the metros and key cities of India by flight. From here you can hire a cab from Ice Cube Services (+91 975 586 6600; Rs. 9-12/km, daily driver allowance for a minimum of 250km/day is included). Sirpur lies just 84km away from here and can be reached within two hours.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Babylon Inn: One of the landmark hotels of the city, this is close to the airport and offers luxury interiors and superior services. (tel: +91 77142 99999; www.hotelbabylon.com; Rs. 6000 onwards)
Hotel Simran Pride: For clean, spacious and newly built rooms with wi-fi and modern amenities at a low budget head to Hotel Simran Pride. (tel: +91 9300029102; www. hotelsimranpride.com; Rs. 2500 onwards)
Stay tuned to this space for our upcoming travel guides – Nature Trips Chhattisgarh, Pocket Bastar, Pocket Sirpur, Temple Trips Chhattisgarh, Tribal Culture Chhattisgarh.