Amid strains of thumri, colourful folk performances and aroma of traditional cuisine, the three-day 'Bihar Mahotsav' kicked off in the national capital.
The festival organised jointly by Department of Art, Culture and Youth, Government of Bihar, Sangeet Natak Akademi and Bihar Lalit Kala Akademi opened last evening with the rendition of 'Bihar Rajyageet' (state song) followed by 'Bihar Gaurav Gaan'. A giant cut-out of world-famous Yakshi statue, sights of Madhubani paintings, Sikki art and photographs of the state's famous monuments like Gol Ghar and tomb of Maner Sherif welcomed the visitors at the Rabindra Bhawan premises bedecked with colourful festoons.
Visitors savoured the flavour of traditional cuisine like chuda-dahi, sattu drink, the famous litti-choka, and also visited stalls for handicraft and paintings of Bihar. While folk dances delighted spectators, renditions of thumri of Benares gharana and Gaya gharana by artist Kumud Jha Diwan provided the classical interlude. Visitors this weekend will also be treated to cultural performances in the evening.
"We are making an entry into the national capital with our cultural identity.... We have endeavoured to develop this festival series into a cultural bridge. Organised in Delhi, it will give people here an opportunity to know the art, culture, music, cuisine and handicrafts of Bihar," Secretary, Department of Art, Culture and Youth, Bihar Government Chanchal Kumar said in a statement.
"We started the 'Mahotsav' in 2009 in Kolkata, followed by Allahabad, Jaipur and in Guwahati earlier in March before entering Delhi," a senior official of the Department of Art, Culture and Youth, said.
Books on Bihar and its history and heritage, especially the lost art of 'Patna Qalam' among others are also on sale. An exhibition of works of artists from Bihar is also being held.