Organized by REACH (Rural Entrepreneurship for Art & Cultural Heritage), Virasat Art and Heritage Festival 2022 features renowned artists and talented local artisans from across states.
There is no denying that India is one of the best epitomes of cultural heritage and varied diversity, a glimpse of which is seen through cultural festivals organized in the country. One such festival, which marked its beginning 26 years ago – Virasat, Art, and Heritage Festival is back in Dehradun after two years owing to the COVID-19 precautions.
Popular as “Afro-Asia’s biggest heritage & folklife festival”, organized by REACH (Rural Entrepreneurship for Art & Cultural Heritage), the festival presents the art and culture of India in a unique and educative format. It gives the young people and visitors an opportunity to learn about their roots, while also enjoying the art.
As the organizers of the festival claim, the objective of the event is to spread awareness about the native wisdom, ecological approaches, knowledge systems, and traditions of India. The festival started on April 15 and will observe a conclusion on April 29. All of the programmes of the festival are not-for-profit events, and the performances best represent the rich diversity of India, attracting a huge crowd every year.
This festival has already seen the participation of great minds and luminaries like HH The Dalai Lama, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Ud. Bismillah Khan, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Vd. Sonal Man Singh, Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Manjit Bawa, Anjolie Ela Menon, Govind Nihalani, I. Alan Sealy, and many others.
This edition of the festival has already welcomed Begum Parveen Sultana, Amartyya Chatterjee, Pt. Uday Narayan Mallick, while the upcoming days are expecting artists like Rajat Prasanna, Pt. Jayateerth Mevundi, Sanjukta Das, and more. This apart, Virasat includes many contests, folk dance, craft workshops, heritage walks, Qawwali, Sufi singing, and classical music and dance.
Along with this, the festival has also featured “200 years of Mussoorie”, which is an exhibition curated by Sh. Gopal Bhardwaj. Moreover, the festival is a hub for products made by local weavers and artisans. “Over the period, it (Virasat) has emerged as a unique model to market rural products and intertwines the same with legacy industries like music, dance and craft,” the team says. Being held at Dehradun’s BR Ambedkar stadium, the festival is also a paradise for foodies as the food stalls constitute one of the key attractions for the people.
So, if you are in Uttarakhand, we suggest you spare some time and pay a visit to the festival to behold and embrace this gigantic Indian extravaganza!