Sankirtan Mahotsav
Photos courtesy: Odisha Tourism

May 31, 2012

Bhubaneswar stirred with splashes of devotion during the three-day Sankirtan Mahotsav that started with a colourful procession of 800 artistes from across Odisha from Ram Mandir Square to Rabindra Mandap. The State Tourism and Culture Department boosted this art form through a festival from 25th to 27th May 2012 organised by Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy. The Sankirtan artistes from across Odisha flooded the city with great fervour and their eagerness and excitement was infectious.
It is said out of 9 ways of offering devotion or Nabadha Bhakti, Kirtana or Sankirtan is the best medium to feel the divine presence. Apart from this, being the most widespread rural based popular art form, Sankirtan creates a spiritual awakening among the masses and establishes a strong bonding of peace, bliss, cultural amity and friendship. The theme of presentation mainly centers round the Vaishnavite devotional pieces and episodes from mythology and puranas. The Sankirtan party from Manipur sponsored by EZCC regaled the audience with their varied presentations with intricacies of foot and body movements punctuated with acrobatic postures. The enchanting rhythm generally started with slow beats and gradually reached the crescendo. The inaugural day witnessed four groups from Sambalpur, Angul, Ganjam and Manipur.
Nadia Kirtan and Odishi Kirtan enchanted the audience on the second day of Sankirtan Utsav that witnessed a colourful and rhythmic ensemble of endemic percussions Mrudanga and Khola accompanied by Jhanja and Kartala (brass metalic clapping instruments and cymbals). Sankirtan artistes Ajay Kumar Das and group from Athagarh, Cuttack, Kusabihari Samal and group from Hindol, Dhenkanal, Gangadhar Nayak and group from Arisal, Khurda and Sampa Mishra and group from Kolkata performed. The atmosphere was permeated with spiritual flavour and fervour and captivated the audience throughout.
The concluding evening featured Sankirtan by Bichitrananda Paikaray and group from Bhubaneswar, Harihara Satapathy and group from Gumagad, Kandhamal, Bishnucharan Mohapatra and group from Sathilo, Jagatsinghpur and Madan Mohan Dash and group from Khandapada, Nayagarh. The three-day Sankirtan Mahotsav ignited in the Sankirtan lovers a sense of spritual awakening and cultural amity and left an indelible impact in the minds of the art lovers of Bhubaneswar.

Many dignitaries like Prafulla Kumar Samal (Hon’ble Minister, Tourism & Culture), Ashok Kumar Tripathy (Principal Secrertary, Tourism and Culture), Susil Kumar Das (Director, Culture), Sarat Pujari (President, Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy), Aruna Mohanty (Vice President, OSNA) and Chitta Ranjan Mallia (Secretary, OSNA) attended the festival.