Festival weaves magic

The annual Elephanta Festival shifted venue this year to Gateway of India and offered three days of music and dance performances by renowned artistes. The festival ended on a grand note on Sunday.

Organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), the festival has traditionally been a two-day affair, set in the backdrop of heritage monuments at the Elephanta island. This year, in a bid to reach out to a wider audience, the organisers decided to hold it at the Gateway.

The three-day festival started on Friday evening on the occasion of Gudi Padva, or the New Year. Soothing strains of Marathi sugam sangeet or light classical music by artistes such as Mukund Marathe, Bakul Pandit and Ketki Bhave held the audience captive. A soulful rendition of Raag Yaman by Hindustani classical singer Parveen Sultana left them spellbound. Sivamani and Runa Rizvi entertained the audience with Sufi rhythms.

For the next two days, dawn descended on the Gateway of India to the music of Bhimanna Jadhav's Sundari and singers Arti Aanklikar Tikekar and Rajan Sajan Mishra.

Indian classical dancers Leena Gupta, Alpana Nayak, Aditi Mangaldas, Manisha Sathe, Jhelum Paranjape and Sandhya Purecha also performed at this year's Elephanta festival.

The grand finale saw singer Hariharan mesmerise the audience with some of his best ghazals.

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