The festival of music and arts organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), in the Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour, east of Mumbai, India is famously known as the Elephanta Festival. This festival is particularly held in the month of February or March every year. This festival was started as an initiative at the part of the MTDC in the year 1989, to promote the Indian culture in the world arena. This festival continues for two days and attracts lots of national and international tourists. The localities also gather to feel the essence of the rich cultural programs.
The speciality of the location
The location of the festival itself is a renowned tourist spot and holds immense natural beauty. The elephant caves have been declared as heritage. Previously the festival used to be held on the island, away from the heritage site but from the year 2013, the location has been shifted to near the heritage site after the grant of permission from the Archaeological Survey of India and The ministry of Culture.
The special attractions
The music concerts arranged in the festive bears major attraction. National and international artists of great repute perform in this concert. Different types and forms of music are staged. Starting from the western classical performances to the performances of the famous Indian classical vocalists, make the festive reach the height. The tune of music fills the air of the Island. Great musical performances form the great artists under the starry sky of the naturally beautiful Elephanta Island, mesmerizes the viewers and they gathers an experience of lifetime.
The dance performances are presented by the most famous artists of the country. This festival holds a high stage for promotion of the Indian classical dance. Starting from the Kathak, bharatnatyam, kathakali, and different other forms of classical dance to the Sufi dance, all are performed on the same stage. This festive provides a platform to promote the rich culture of the country. Starting from the classical artists to the young generations of artists all consider this festival with a high esteem.
Not only the great vocalists and the magnificent dancers, but the great instrumentalists also enlighten the stage with their extraordinary performances. Starting from Veena to Sarod, Tabla to Santoor every form of instrumental music is performed on stage, which satisfies the aim of the festival to exhibit and promote the rich culture of the country.
The festival also includes activities like painting competitions and guided tours to the caves of the Island. Specially arranged food stalls serve to the catering needs of the visitors. A one and half hour’s ride in the luxury boat from the Gateway of India in Mumbai to the Elephanta Island is also an added attraction of this festive. The place derived its name from the monolithic sculpture in the shape of an elephant found by the Portuguese explorers in the 17th century. The wood of the place is populated with the mango, palm and tamarind trees. The Elephanta festival adds another feather to the natural beauty of the picturesque place.