States Odisha Festivals Kalinga Mahotsav

Kalinga Mahotsav Odisha

Kalinga Mahotsav or National Festival of Martial Dance is celebrated to mark the major victory of peace over war when Kalinga (part of Odisha) once witnessed a battle during the reign of Ashoka. The festival is a tribute to the martyrs of the Maurya Dynasty which is celebrated by various Martial Art Acts through dance and music.

Kalinga Mahotsav Odisha

Odisha has a rich culture with historic significance that spans over many years. And it was also one of the main hubs of political power, referred to as Kalinga. Every year, in January and February, a popular festival in Odisha, the Kalinga festival or the Kalinga Mahotsava is organized. It brings together the folk, classical and martial art forms on one stage. It is said that people of Odisha are distinguished as kings in Malaysia, as they once colonized parts of Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. One can find the largest variety of tribal communities in Odisha. Since the Kalinga war, Odisha is known world over. All these reasons are mainly responsible for the celebration of Kalinga Mahotsava. Held in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, this festival coincides with another one known as the Dhauli festival. Hence, it was later re-named as the Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsava. The Dhauli festival represents the popular Konark dance and music festival. It was initiated by the famous guru Gangadhar Pradhan about 13 years ago.

The Kalinga Mahotsava was initiated by a famous Bhubaneswar based Italian Odissi dancer Ileana Citaristi. Kalinga Mahotsava represents the various forms of martial art forms and this popular festival is organized over the Dhauli hills near the famous Japanese Buddhist temple. As the story goes, after the bloodiest war of Kalinga, King Ashoka desperately looked for peace and hence this cultural festival in Odisha is held each year to depict the significance of peace over war. It attracts various martial artists from all over India to put up their best performance here. The mix of martial art with dance and music is extremely spectacular to watch. Various skills with swords and sticks are conducted too. If one wishes to learn more about the rich culture of Odisha, it is highly recommended to visit such festivals.

Highlights of the Festival

  • Various traditional art forms like Chhau and Paika from Odisha are performed in this festival.
  • Thang-Ta from Manipur and Kalaripayattu from Kerala are performed too.
  • More than 500 well-established artists across the world visit Kalinga Mahotsava to showcase their skills.
  • The festival is conducted at Shanti Vihar, the foothills of Dhauli.
  • The festivities start in the evening and the patrons enjoy the visual treat till late night
  • The programme is telecast live on Doordarshan channel for the rest of the audience who are unable to make it to the festival venue.

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Odisha Travel Information at a Glance

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