The first ever Sirpur Dance and Music Festival-20 13 starts on January 4,2013 at the city of wealthSirpur in Mahasamund District of Chhattisgarhnear Lakshman Temple- the famous ancient brick temple of Lord Vishnu.
The three-day event is organized by Chhattisgarh State Tourism Board to promote Sirpur as a world heritage site and to showcase various art forms which have been a part of rich cultural heritage of our nation.
Large number of artists of national and international repute from across the country will perform in this mega event, along with the globally acclaimed folk artists of Chhattisgarh state to mark a feeling of cultural amity.
Sirpur National Dance and Music Festival 2013 is a grand celebration of art and culture at a venue which holds great historical and archaeological significance.
Sirpur festival brings an array of dance, music and art forms on one platform in an attempt to create a unique identity for itself amongst the admirers of art and culture across the world.
With each passing year, it aspires to add up to the grandeur of this event and bring more members to its cultural family.
Several reputed artists from across the nation will take part in this prestigious event, including Padma Bhushan recipient Pt Chhannulal Mishra, Padma Shri Madhavi Mudgal and group, Padma Shri Prahlad Singh Tipanya and group, Padma Vibhushan Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia and so on.
Performances based on Indian Classical, folk, tribal dance and music forms of the country, particularly of Chhattisgarh state, will spread the colours of magnificence on stage at Sirpur Mahotsav.
In short, this event will give the enchanting glimpses of the richness and prosperity of our culture and traditions befitting the prestigious historical background and monumental beauty of Sirpur, situated about 85 kms away from Raipur city.
Day-1, 4th January, of the event will be marked by the performances of Sail a Nritya (Tribal Dance, Ambikapur) and Bharati Bandhu on Kabirpanthi Songs, Chants by Buddhist Monks, performance of a vibrant percussion ensemble- Taal India. Moreover, Padma Bhushan Pt Chhannulal Mishra will also grace the occasion with his performance based on Thumri, Kajri, Jhoola, Chaiti etc.
On January 5th, day two, Sirpur Mahotsav will showcase Kaksar Nritya (tribal dance of Bastar), Pandvani to be performed by internationally acclaimed Teejan Bai, Odishi dance by Padma Shri Madhvi Mudgal and group, and performance of Padma Shri Prahlad Singh Tipanya on Kabir panthi and Nirguni Songs.
On the last day of Sirpur Dance and Music Festival-2013, on Day 3 on 6th January, enthralling performances based on Gaur Maria Nritya (Tribal Dance, Bastar), Panthi Nritya (folk dance), Pandvani by Ritu Verma, Kathak Dance by Sharmishtha Mukherjee, 'Sanniddhi'- a presentation of seven dance styles by Parwati Dutta and group, and a musical extravaganza will also be staged by the team of Padma Vibhushan Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia ( on flute), Shubhankar Bannerjee (on Tabla), and Jayanti Gosher (on Guitar).
Looking upon the glorious past associated to Sirpur, it has the potential to become an internationally acclaimed archaeological site of Chhattisgarh.
Epigraphic records show that Sirpur or Shripur was the capital of Dakshin Kaushal in 5th-8th century, during the reign of Somvanshi and Sarbhapuriya kings.
It was an important Buddhist centre from the 6th the 10th century A.D. and was visited by Chinese Scholar Hieun Tsang, in 7th Century.
Sirpurwas later ruled by several royal dynasties including Satvahanas, Sarbh Purias, Somvanhies, and Kalchuries.
The excavations at Sirpur have revealed striking evidence of Chhattisgarh's rich cultural heritage and prestigious history of communal harmony, secularism, tolerance and peaceful co existence of various faiths even before third century.
It has also retained its importance as the pilgrimage site for the followers of Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism a s well as for art lovers .
Excavations in and around the, village have yielded scores of temple sites constructed of bricks, stone pillars and sculptures such as the Shiva Temple of Panchayatan style and the beautiful sculpture of Mahishasuramardini.
Two Buddhist monasteries have also been found. The venue of the Sirpur Dance and Music Festival-2013 is near Lakshman Temple, one of the best known ancient brick temples of India, situated in Sirpur.
This magnificent structure has beautifully sculpted entrance and inside is the 'Garbh Grah', 'Antaral' and 'Mandap' made as per the Hindu architectural standards fortemple-building. Walls of the temple have been decorated with the beautiful sculptures, depicting principle incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Krishna-Lila, and other human figurines.
Lakshman Temple was established by Vaasta- mother of Mahashivgupta Ballarjun and daughter of King Suryaverman of Magadh, in loving memory of her husband.
Owing to its immense archaeological potential dating back to 2nd century and religious importance for Shiva, Vaishnava, Jain and Buddhist religions, an area of 100 acres around the site has been declared as 'heritage zone' by the government and is being preserved on priority basis.
This is the first time Chhattisgarh Tourism Board is organizing a National level dance and music festival. This is to bring Sirpur on the National tourist map. The hope is that this festival will evolve into the most looked forward event at the National level.
It will certainly become as renowned as Khujarao and Konark Dance festival.
This year the organizers have invited many international tour and travel operators to participate in Sirpurfestival. They will stay and take sufficient time to explore Chhattisgarh with a tourist perspective.
Also invited is the High Commissioner of Srilanka His Excellence Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam to be the guest of honor for this event.
It is important to note that about 2 Lakhs tourist from Srilanka visit Sanchi, Sarnath and Bodhgaya every year.