Come Friday, Thane will see its own Kala Ghoda festival. If the Mumbai event has a heritage precinct tag, the ambience at the venue in the central suburb promises to be equally mesmerising with a beautiful lake in the vicinity, and the verdant Yeoor hills in the backdrop.
With 300 stalls and participation by over 200 national and international artists, the Upvan Arts Festival will kick-start on January 10. The three-day programme will showcase a variety of events, including performing arts, fine and traditional arts, culinary arts for 12 hours a day.
The Upvan festival is the culmination of efforts by a group of enterprising individuals, who hail from various backgrounds such as law, medicine and business. One of them is Sandeep Karnavat, a realtor as well as an educationist, who conducts commerce classes.
Speaking to dna, Karnavat said, “Venturing into an arts festival may seem like a drastic change, but not for me. I have been helping youngsters learn commerce and this art festival is like an opportunity for the youth to nurture a similar interest in art. This is also a lucrative career option.”
It was well-known landscape artist Arun Kumar who first came up with the idea of having an art festival of this scale in Thane. Nearly 20 people, including Karnavat, then joined hands to turn Kumar’s dream into reality.
“Our sole aim is to promote art and hence all the organising committee members, donors, art patrons and various associations have pooled in money to make this event a success.
We have been working for the past 100 days towards planning this festival,” said Karnavat.
The realtor-cum-educator said, “We have transformed the whole area. It would be difficult to recognise it with an amphitheatre, seminar rooms, workshop rooms, food plazas, food lounges, stalls, parking space, visual art galleries, exhibition pavillion, six open air theatres.”
All the organisers as well as Karnavat unanimously zeroed on this location as it is very scenic. “Upvan is the largest lake in Thane and is surrounded by 4,500 acres of Yeoor hills. Such a pristine ambience would be hard to find elsewhere. This beautiful landscape is a gift to Thane and we are making full use of the 22-acre venue.”
Karnavat added, “We hope the festival makes an impact on the lives of youngsters in the vicinity. They should be inspired and encouraged by the various artists who will showcase their talent.”