The Khajuraho Group of Monuments are some of the most superlative examples of Indian culture and architecture through the late 1st century and early 2nd century AD. Built by the rulers of the Chandela dynasty, these Jain and Hindu temples are breath-taking and represent the rich socio cultural and religious art of our country.
The erotic combined with the esoteric makes for a profound understanding of the theology as adapted by the people of the time. Being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of India is one reason Khajuraho temples attract a huge number of visitors and tourists each day. This, however, is not all. The very popular dance festival held here each year is the epitome of cultural reverence and showcases some of the very best talents that this country has to offer and some internationally acclaimed artists as well.
The Khajuraho Dance Festival held in February each year is organised by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad and is the highlight of Khajuraho Tourism. The seven-day dance festival is held as a celebration heralding the onset of spring and the return of warmth and colour. And sure enough, colour dominates the scene with some of the ancient Indian classical dances such as Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, and Kathakali being the focus of the festival.
In keeping with the times, modern dances and international dance forms have also been introduced but this has only enriched the cultural fabric of the festival, not diminished it.
This year (2019) the Khajuraho Dance Festival will be held between 20 to 26 February. Each day will feature 3 to 4 exemplary performances by renowned artists and dance groups from across the world. Some of these include Lakshmi Viswanathan, G.Kalewani Rajmohan, Ragni Chandrashekhar & Group Kalaangan, and Padmini Durairajan, Maya Shyam Sundar & Group (Bharatnatyam), Guru Jitendra Maharaj, Mohini Monge & Group, Neelam Choudhary & Group, Akhilesh Chaturvedi, and Khushboo Panchal (Kathak), Radha-Raja Reddy, and Veena Vijaya Murthy and group (Kuchipudi), and Kadambari Shivava, and Kavita Mohanty and Group (Odissi).
The one special performance that you must look out for this year is the “Sankalp se Siddhi, Swachh Bharat Ko Samarpit” by the Sri Kamakhya Kalapeeth and directed by Dr. Sonal Mansingh. As always, these dances will be held in the open-air auditorium in front of the Chitragupta Temple (dedicated to the Sun God) and the Vishwanatha Temple (dedicated to Lord Shiva). You may want to stay on for the light and sound show that is held after the dances each night.
If you plan to attend this dance extravaganza, it is important that you book your stay at The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho well in advance. Not only is it one of the top 5 star hotels in Khajuraho, it is also a benchmark in hospitality and luxury. This is one of the finest luxury hotels overlooking the temple complex and makes for easy access to the festival venue and the temples.
If you intend to attend the dance festival, you may want to extend your stay to attend the Shiv Vivaha celebrations hosted by the LaLiT under the sof the Lalit Arts Festival from March 1 – 3, 2019. The divine marriage of the all-pervading Divine Feminine, Shakti, with Shiva is a celebration to behold. This will include the “baraat” procession from the Lalit Temple View Khajuraho to the Western Temple Festival Grounds where a night of classical dance and music extravaganza awaits the guests.