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Taj Mahotsava

Taj Mahotsava 2011:- 18th February - 27 February  

Inauguration of Taj Mahotsav
A great opening ceremony of 20th Taj Mahotsav at Shilpgram, near Taj Mahal in Agra was fabulous. Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, Mr. Atul Gupta inaugurated the event. Taj Mahotsav is celebrated annually, dedicated to rich heritage of Agra. The ten days extravagance features cultural performance of legendary artisans, cuisine event and a colorful display of art and craft culture.
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Sizzling Performance by Shubha Mudgal
Taj Mahotsav turned out to be more lively with the scintillating performance of great and renowned singer, Shubha Mudgal. The whole crowd could not restrict their body to dance when Shubha started singing. She sang two popular tracks - Aayo re maro dholna and Ab ke sawan which led the audience of all ages to dance and sing.
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Come February and it's springtime! The time of the year when nature dawns all it's colorful splendour and Agra bursts into colorful celebrations. For 10 days there is a sheer celebration of Uttar Pradesh's rich heritage of arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, dance and music. Yes, it is Taj Mahotsava time again. There are festivities all around and Agra truly puts on the colors of joy and gets transformed into one non stop carnival. Organised by Uttar Pradesh Tourism, and held as an annual event at Shilpgram, literally next door to the Taj Mahal, the Taj Mahotsav is indeed a fitting tribute to the legendary skills of matercraftsmen and exponents of art, music and cuisine. Not only this, it is also a gentle peep into the rich heritage and extraordinary legacies of this wonderful land.

The festivities commence with a spectacular procession inspired by Mughal splendour. Bedecked elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artists and mastercraftsmen.... all help to recreate a visual delight reminiscent of the golden era of the Mughal Darbars.
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Taj Mahotsav is where the legendary artisans and mastercraftsmen breathe life into their exquisite works of art. Marble inlay apart, the Festival brings forth an array of other fine crafts as well- wood carvings from Saharanpur, brass and other metalwasre from Moradabad, handmade carpets of Badohi, the blue pottery of Khurja, the Chikan work of Lucknow, the silk of Banares... to name a few. Agra with its legendry tradition of exquisite craftmenship is thus the ideal venue for holding a crafts fair like the Taj Mahotsav.

At the Mahotsav, be sure to be a part of the Food Festival. Relish the exotic cuisine's and delicacies prepared by some of the oldest exponents and the typical preparations from the interiors of Uttar Pradesh.

Throughout the Mahotsav, one can experience a profusion of folk music and dances of Dundelkhand, 'Nautanki' (Drama), 'Sapera' dance of Rajasthan, Lavani of Maharashtra.... performed just the way they used to be centuries ago.

Agra is renowned for it's breathtaking, centuries old monuments. For experiencing the pomp and glory of the eras gone by there are classical performances held at these ageless sites, recreating the splendor and ambience once associated with Mughal monarchs.

A Rewind of Celebrations in the Past
Since we have said so much about the Taj Mahotsav, it is but obvious that we will give also let you know about the performances that have taken place in the past years celebrations. So let's travel back in time and catch a glimpse of what made the last few years of Taj Mahotsav a hot and happening affair.

Renowned singers set the mood of the celebrations by performing at the grand opening ceremony. In 2004, Sonu Nigam, the famous Bollywood singer gave a melodious kickstart to the ceremony followed by performances of Wadali brothers and Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma (Sufi singers and Santoor Player respectively). In the following years the honour was done by more renowned musical personalities

2005 - Ismail darbar (Bollywood music director)
2006 - Sudesh Bhonsle (Singer)
2007 - Shaan (Singer)
2008 - Isamil Darbar along with Poonam Yadav(television music show contestant)
2009 - Sudhir Narayan, Murari Lal Sharma and Shreya Ghosal

Apart from the above mentioned artists, other significant names also performed at the Taj Mahotsav and contributed to make it a grand success. Among these are Sankar Sahani, Pankaj Udhaas, Hansraj Hans, Sabri Brothers, Jassi, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Nizami Brothers (Delhii), Kailash Kher ( Sufi Singer),Sunidhi Chauhan (Film Songs), Jagjit Singh, Shankar Ehsaan Loy,Raja Hasan, Sumedha,Malini Awasthi,Aryans Rock Band. Standup Comedians like Raju Srivastava, Kapil and VIP added spice to the show with their hilarious one liners

Programme This Year
Like the rest of the years, this year too will witness a cultural fiesta at the Taj Mahotsav. Various folk and classical dance and music performances will be performed at the gala event. Dance performances will include Braj Folk Dance, Kathak, Buddha Ballet, Kuchipudi Dance, Manipuri Dance, Odissi Dance and Bharatnatyam. On the other hand there will also be folk Song, Ghazal, Bhojpuri Songs, Bhajan Songs and Qawwali for the entertainment of the audience. There would also be performances by leading Bollywood artists and Rock bands. The programme has been designed in a way so as to give a wide variety to the audience.

The venue for these programmes will be the open stage of Shilpgram, Sursadan Auditorium and Noorjahan Auditorium.

Theme of Taj Mahotsav 2011
This years theme of Taj Mahotsav is Jashne -E- Virashat. The theme was chosen from amongst five themes that were in running this year. The other four themese were "Taj Mahotsav : Jhalak Ek Virasat ki", "Agra ka Ateet- Gaurav ka Prateek", "Taj Mahotsav 2011. Anutha Mahotsav Adbhut Virasaten" and "Taj Mahotsav- Virasaton ka Utsav".

In past years, the theme of the utsave have been as follows
2010 - Taj Mahotsav - Ek Utsav Prem Ka (A festival of Love)
2009 - Taj Mahotsav - Sula kul (Universal Peace and Harmony)
2008 - Taj Mahotsav - Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam (Entire World is a Family)

Performing Artists at the Taj Mahotsav 2011
A big group of artists is getting ready to perform at the grand Taj Mahotsav. These artists come from a varying background and have gained wide recognition in their respective field. Amongst the singers, we have Alka Yagnik, Malini Awasthi, Hariharan, Daler Mehndi, Hemant Brijwasi, Shreyasi, Sanobar Kabir, Pandit Jasraj (Padam Vibhushan) and Sharda Sinha. Apart from this, dancers from the famous television show Dance India Dance and artists from Bollywood like Kim Sharma, Preeti Zhingyani and Tanushree Dutta will also perform at the event.

Art and Craft Fair
Taj Mahotsav will offer over 350 craftsmen from different parts of India a recognised platform to display their skills. These artisans will showcase their products - from shawls, sarees, carpets to woodcrafts, crochet work, cane work and marble craft. As per the authorities, ?101 craftsmen from Handloom Department (Centre), 150 craftsmen from Handicrafts Department, 15 from Jute Council of India, 20 from District Industries department, two from the coconut board and 15 sponsored craftsmen would be there,?.

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