Sunday, December 18, 2016

Konark Festival 2015 - Sand Art


 Last year (2015) in the month of Nov / Dec we made a longish trip to Bhutan, Darjeeling and Jagannath Puri. It was during our Air Travel by AI from Mumbai to Kolkata that my wife noticed that Konark Festival (consisting of Konark Dance Festival, Jatra (village fare) and Konark International Sand Art Festival would be on during our stay at Puri. We decided to make our best efforts to visit it during our trip to Konark for short time, which was any way planned without having knowledge of this festival.

That memory was rekindled when end of month of November I saw the advertisement for Konark festival in the News Papers. That is when I remembered that I have extensively photographed the Sand art festival last year. The memories jolted out of my complacency and I decided to put up a photoblog on it.

Finishing our Bhutan and Darjeeling leg of the trip we flew to Kolkata from Bagdogra on 02 Dec 15  and then reached Puri by train from there on 03 Dec 15 by about 0930 hrs. We had planned to check in, set up a taxi and go to Korank ASAP. This being winter season, that to East Coast, the Sunset was expected to be earlier, hence the rush to reach Konark.

We reached Konark Temple at 1600 and did a rushed visit to that place. We would have loved to spend time at Konark but Sand Art festival was beckoning us that too we wanted to make it there before sunset (if we could). Here are few selected photos of Konark.




The Musicians of Konark



Makeup is an Ancient Art



Wheel of Chariot of Lord Surya








 After visiting temple for about one hour and fifteen minutes we made it to Sand Art festival venue at 1730 Hrs just when dusk was setting in.

This festival is of very recent origin. Earlier there was only Konark Dance Festival (which happens on a venue outside temple complex in such a way that one gets a feeling watching it on TV that it is happening in the Temple premise). Now it has become Konark Festival with Dance, Sand Art, Jatra and a Handicraft exhibition included.

Konark Festival (and thus International Sand Art festival) runs from 01 Dec to 05th Dec every year. The Artists are given a fixed plot (all getting same area) on Chandrabhaga Beach. There is a predetermined scheme for each day on which all artists are required to make their sculpture using sand available on the beach and water, no addictive is allowed (So the govt notification for the festival says).

They are provided one or two helpers. The task of making sculpture for the day starts in the morning and the  sculpture is ready around 1700 or so. in Dec 15 most artiest were from Orrisa  with one from Gujrat and about form International Artists. In all a total of 35 Sand arts were presented with that days theme being Conservation of Heritage. With this much commentary, let me now stream the pictures. I would be captioning few of them. Let me start.



First Display, First Artist  I think from Togo (or is it Nigeria)











BTW the Umbrella is on the beach












Are the Photos becoming too many? I too agree with you to a extent but tell me, with about over 35 artists toiling a whole day in hot sun to showcase their art, shouldn't I give at least two or three photo spaces to them. Hope you would devote a miniscule amount of time to see their work through these photos as compared to their efforts. Let me continue.






























Ok, be patient. There are few more artists yet to be represented on this blog. Do see their work too.































Now just for the completeness of the post, just few (really few) photos of Dance part of the festival, starting with Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balbhadra Pratimas at the venue.










I am done. I enjoyed being there and hope my readers also enjoy Konark Festival through this blog and in future by actually being there. The artists there were extraordinary. The flaws that you see in some of the photographs are entirely mine as a novice photographer (with DSLR) and I accept the blame.

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