Three-day Music Fiesta by Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Parishad Udaipur

To create awareness about Indian classical music and dance among people, especially the youth, and to acquaint them with the big contribution of the great Maharana Kumbha to this art, Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Parishad Udaipur, named after the great Rajputana ruler, organizes an eagerly awaited three-day music fiesta every year.

sangeet samaroh's pictures
Source: UdaipurTimes
Last years sangeet samaroh’s pictures

Schedule of the Music Fest

Music and dance lovers of not only Lake City but also of places near and far are going to enjoy the presentation by noted artists on 16th and 17th March at Sukhadia Rang Manch, Town Hall and on 18th March at Muktakshi Rang Manch of Shilpgram. The program would open with a bang on the first day with flute recital by the reputed Pandit Parasnath of Mumbai.

This is to be followed by classical singing by well-known Raghunandan Panshikar. The on March 17th is to have classical music by the famous Sonia Roy of Kolkata.

The second artist on the second day would be the famous sitar player of Kolkata, Pandit Purbayan Chatterjee.

The final day me on 18th March at Shilpgram would have the performance of the famous artist of Mumbai, Pandit Anuradha Das and country’s first novel women classical music band.

This is to be followed by a special form of Kolkata dance by the well-known artist Richa Jain and party including the accompanist, the would have 40-50 artists this year. It will be for the first time that a band would be performed in this Sangeet Samaroh.  According to Vice- President of the Parishad, Dr. Prem Bhandari, a noted ‘ghazal’ singer and former HOD, Music, MLSU, Udaipur his team spends 2-3 months to select the artists every year as it listens to a number of CDs. The three forms viz, music dance and instruments. Both the well-known and upcoming artists are given a chance to perform.

Richa Jain

A special feature of this national level event that is famous all over the world is that it is being organized for the last 5.6 years without a single break in spite of difficult situations of various kinds. The idea of setting up an organization in the name of Maharan Khumbha a rare among the rarest kings of Mewar who a great ruler and warrior was not only but also a great musician himself, came up in 1962. Maharana Kumbha wrote Sangeetraj an authentic and original treatise consisting of 16,000 Sanskrit ‘Sholks’ dealing with all the three ‘Vidhas’ of Indian classical music. This earned him the title of ‘Vogeykar’ that means one who writes poems and composes music. This great work lay dormant for over 500 years before it was discovered due to light by the research done on it by Premlata Sharma, a disciple of Thakur.

The motivation came from Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, a legend in the world of music.

The first Sangeet Sammelan was inaugurated with a recital by this great maestro. The importance of the Sammelan can be ganged from the galaxy of artists who have performed in it. Even now artists consider it as an honor to get an opportunity to perform here and pay their homage to Maharana Kumbha.

The huge number of artists who performed in the event during its history of over (1962,1963) Pandit Ramnaryan (1962). Pt. Ravi Shankar (1977), Ut. Ali Akbar Khan (1975), Shri Purushottam Das (1962), Pt. Kumar Gandhar (1968,1979), Ut. Abdul Halim Zafar Khan (1969,1976), Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma (1984), Ut. Allah Rakha (1977), Pt. Chatulal (1962), Pt. Shamta Prasad (1970, 1979), Pt. Kishan Maharaj (1965), Pandit Jasra (1967,1981,1986,2002), Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia (1983), Ut. Zakir Hussain (1983), Ut. Shahid Parvez (1979,2008), Pt. Birju Maharaj (2009), Smt Parween Sultana (1978,2009), Dr. Sonal Mansingh (1980), Pt. Rajan Sajan Misra (1993,2003), Ut. Rashid Majumdar (2004), Pt. Visva Mohan Bhatt (1983,1998,2003) to name a few.

Another unique feature of the Sangeet Sammelan is that the entry to it is free of charge.

It has been possible due to the support of agencies such as Art and Culture Ministry Govt. of India, Govt. of Rajasthan, Vedanta Hindustan Zinc Ltd., State Bank of India, Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Corporation, Singhal Foundation Western Zone Culture Centre, Udaipur. The members of the Parishad also try their best to minimize the expenses. This year S.S College of Engineering is providing free bus services to and from Shilpgram. To create interest in classical music among students, some schools and colleges are sending their students to attend this event.

According to Dr. Yashwant Kothari, Hon. Secretary of the Sangeet Parishad, every year two awards are given to two artists who perform in the Samarohviz Murli Narain Mathur Award and Yashwant Kothari Kumbha Samman the latter was started last year.  Well-known classical music singer Pandit Raghunandan Panshikar is to receive M.N Mathur Award while Yashwant Kothari Samman goes to famous ‘tabla’ player Pandit Anuradha Pal this year. The latter one was won by Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt last year.

To create interest in classical music among people, especially the youth, a new feature has been introduced this year. Those who attend the Sangeet Samaroh on all the three days are to get lucrative gifts.

A gala event, this Samahroh has become highly enjoyable not only for music lovers of Lake City but also outsiders who prefer to tour the city on this occasion. It also draws a large number of foreign tourists. According to Dr. Yashwant Kothari, a big lover of classical music Kalyan Banerjee President, Rotary International is coming all the way from Mumbai to attend the Samahroh.

The Parishad is actively engaged in the promotion of classical music. Last year it organized a Dhrupad, Samaroh that is a pure classical form of Indian music in collaboration with Akashwani. The held in the memory of the two maestros Ustad Zia Moinuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Farirrudun Dagar was telecast on Doordarshan Channels. Both the Dagars were born and brought up in Udaipur and had the patronage of Mewar Rajgharana.

Dagar Gharana is known all over the world. The Parishad has a building with an auditorium and a small library of rare books. For the encouragement of young artists of the town and other places concerts, seminars etc. are organized every month. The daily evening classes are attended by a large number of music students.

By Ashok Mathur

Freelance Journalist.
Writes regularly for English daily newspapers.
Is an English Language Teaching Specialist.

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