Mahindra Kabira Festival
Mahindra Kabira Festival
Every November, Varanasi, the birthplace of the mystic-saint poet Kabir, comes alive with an annual musical celebration of his inclusive philosophy and the lyrical aspect of his teachings. Along with performances by leading exponents of the Benares gharana of Hindustani classical music, the audience is treated to folk traditions, Sufi music, ghazals and the dadra, thumri and khayal gayaki styles. Sessions on art and literature inspired by Kabir; specially curated walks with local experts; and stalls showcasing regional cuisines are among the non-musical highlights of the Mahindra Kabira Festival experience.
Hindustani classical musicians Ajoy Chakraborty, Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Shubha Mudgal and Purbayan Chatterjee, folk singer Malini Awasthi and folk-fusion band Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe are a few of the artists to have performed. Writers Purushottam Agrawal and Devdutt Pattanaik are among those who have presented talks at the Mahindra Kabira Festival since it was launched in 2016.
The festival, which was not held in 2020 owing to the pandemic, returned in 2021. The line-up for the 2022 edition featured Rajasthani folk singer Bagga Khan; “India’s first female dastango” Fouzia Dastango; the duo of sitar player Shubhendra Rao and cello player Saskia Rao; folk-fusion bands The Raghu Dixit Project and The Tapi Project; and sarod player Vikash Maharaj and his sons, tabla player Prabhash Maharaj and sitar player Abhishek Maharaj.
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The audience will witness a wide range of performances by artists from across the country who present Kabir’s poetry in multiple genres. Most performances and talks are unique as they’re prepared specially for the festival. Attendees can also enjoy local cuisine at the food stalls, participate in heritage walks, take boat rides, and partake in the Ganga aarti during the morning.
How To Get There
How to reach Varanasi
1. By Air: Varanasi airport is well connected with all the country’s major cities. Get easy flights from Delhi, Mumbai and other cities.
2. By Rail: The city is well connected by rail. The city mainly has two major railway stations that connect it to all the major cities and towns of the country. Varanasi railway station and Kashi railway station are the main railheads that make it possible for all to reach the city with ease.
3. By Road: The Uttar Pradesh State Buses as well as the private bus services make it possible for all to access the city with ease and at a reasonable cost. It solves the query of many who are worried about how to reach Varanasi by road. There are frequent buses from Varanasi to the Allahabad (120 km), Gorakhpur (165 km), Patna (215 km), Lucknow (270 km) and Ranchi (325 km) from Varanasi.
- Food stalls
- Free drinking water
- Gendered toilets
- Live streaming
- Unisex toilets
- Wheelchair access
Items & Accessories to Carry
1. Carry comfortable outfits as the weather is pleasant in Varanasi.
2. A sturdy water bottle, if the festival has refillable water stations.
3. COVID packs: Sanitiser, extra masks and a copy of your vaccination certificate at the bare minimum are objects you should keep handy.
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