Konark Dance Festival is the most popular festival of Odisha to commence from 19th February, 2017 and concludes on 21st February, 2017. This dance festival held every year in December at Konark with the backdrop of historical Sun Temple in Odisha, but it was postponed to February this year.
The Konark Dance Festival is organized by eminent Odissi guru Gangadhar Pradhan’s Odisha (Orissa) Dance Academy in association with the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata at Konark Natya Mandap in Konark. As the sun sets, the open air auditorium gains life in the form of musical beats and rhythmic movements under the star lit sky.
The Konark Festival is one of the biggest dance festivals held in India and is popular with tourist and dance lovers alike. The Konark Dance Festival showcases the best of the traditional and classical dance forms of India, besides offering interesting insights into the rich cultural and dance heritage of India. During this 5 day festival, talented dancers and their troupes descend on Konark to display their skill and mastery over age-old dance forms ranging from the classic Bharatanatyam, the graceful Odissi and Manipuri, to the expressive Kathakali and Sattriya dance styles amongst others.
A jugalbandi of painting and music will also be held daily. A crafts mela is also put up during the Konark Dance festival. Serving a wide array of delectable cuisines and a variety of handicrafts, this mela adds more fun to the festival thus making it a perfect venue for a family get together on a holiday or a joyous experience to the tourists.
About Konark Sun Temple
Konark is best known for the majestic Sun temple which dominates the town. The Konark Sun Temple is the most popular tourist destination in Odisha and has been a World Heritage Site since 1984. It is located in the village of Konark, which is 35 km north of Puri on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. This temple is one of the grandest temples of India and was referred to as the Black Pagoda. The Konark Sun Temple, dedicated to the sun god, was built by king Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in around 1250 AD. The temple reflects the grandeur of the traditional style of Kalinga Architecture.
The temple is originally said to be built at the mouth of river Chandrabhaga but the waterline receded since then. The temple is designed in the shape of a chariot that is pulled seven horses on 24 wheels, carrying the sun god to the heavens. It is carefully oriented towards the east so that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance. Built from Khondalite rocks, the temple is also known for its erotic sculptures of maithunas. A major part of the structure is now lie in ruins, however, the temple is still amongst the fine specimens of architecture in India.