The six-day Khajuraho Dance Festival, that is being organised at the Khajuraho Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Madhya Pradesh, was started on Feb 21, 2021. Khajuraho is known for its ancient Hindu temples as well as Jain temples. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) granted permission to organize the festival at the ancient site.
The Khajuraho dance festival was introduced 46 years ago, in the premises to promote heritage and tourism. However, due to the reports of destruction of monuments and defacement of idols, ASI cancelled the permission after two years . Therefore, understanding the concerns of the ASI regarding heritage and monumental degradation, the state govt has been organizing the festival in an open garden developed near Western Group of Temples, for the past 44 years. Union culture and tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel’s mediation in the matter played a crucial role for ASI to grant permission to the organizers to go ahead with the festival to be organized in the temple premises, after 44 years.
The Principal Secretary, Culture and tourism department, Sheo Shekhar Shukla said that the festival will be organized for the promotion of heritage with utmost care, besides, care of both the safety and security of temples and idols will be taken. The festival is organized by the Department of Culture of Madhya Pradesh State Government. Considering the significance of the festival in the current year, the fee has also been waived off to organize the festival. The dance festival was started to be organized at the ancient Khajuraho temple 46 years ago, in 1974 with the objective of promoting heritage and tourism.
The Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad annually organizes the Khajuraho dance festival from Feb 20 to Feb 26. It is a one-week festival of classical dances, that is organized in the premises of the Khajuraho temples in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. The dance festival showcases the richness of Indian classical dance styles including the Odissi, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, and Kathakali. Recently, the Modern Indian dance was also added to the festival.