Every year during the month of November, All India Kalidasa festival is organized at Ramtek, a small town near Nagpur. The festival is celebrated in memory of the Great Indian Poet Kalidasa, who spent a few years of his life in Ramtek. The festival is organized by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in association with Kalidas Mahotsav Samiti, Nagpur and the Nagpur’s district Collectorate Office. The festival was first celebrated in the year 1996 and will be celebrated for the 21st time in November this year.
Kalidasa was a classical Indian Sanskrit poet and play writer who lived in 4th century AD. He was known by the title Mahakavi and is considered to be one of the greatest poets world has ever seen. Some of the literary masterpieces penned by him include ‘Abhijnanasakuntalam’, ‘Meghadootham’, ‘Raghuvamsam’ and ‘Kumarasambhavam’. Most of his plays were based on Indian Puranas. Such was his writing prowess that he is referred to as the Indian Shakespeare. The Ramtek town holds a special place in the life of Kalidasa. The beauty and tranquility of the place inspired him and it is believed that he wrote Meghdootham in the hills of Ramtek.
About the festival
(Image Courtesy-The Times of India Photogallery)
The festival is four days long and filled with spectacular performances by recognized artists in the field of dance, music and drama. The performances are performed in the picturesque setting of the Ramtek town, which adds more value to them. Some of the popular artists that have performed in the festival include Pt Bhavani Shankar, Padma Guru Bharati Bandhu and many other. Other than celebrating the poetic fineness of the great Kalidasa, the festival also aims to highlight the rich cultural legacy of Nagpur and Vidarbha region on the whole. The cultural extravaganza also throws light on the Maharashtrian art and literature and reminds us of the glorious past of the Vidarbha region. Many people from across the country throng the festival and help boost the state’s tourism industry.