Saturday 11 March 2023

Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav: When war games transform into peace messages - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

What was initiated in 2003 atop the Dhauli hill at the site of the Peace Pagoda as a Martial Arts Festival by Art Vision's Ileana Citaristi, is today the Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav mounted at the foothills of Dhauli, overlooking the Shiv Mandir on the left and the Peace Pagoda on the right, under the organisation of Odiya Language and Culture Department, Government of Odisha and Orissa Dance Academy, in association with Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, Ministry of Tourism and Art Vision. The festival projecting a blend of martial arts and group dances of different denominations, in the open setting, away from the city environs of Bhubaneswar, has an individuality of its own - quite unlike other festivals. And wisely, State government patronage, with special buses plying to and fro, enables school and college students of Bhubaneswar to attend the Mahotsav, which otherwise would be out of reach for most youngsters.

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