Mahindra Kabira Festival returns to Varanasi, set to host rare collaborations in its fourth edition
New Delhi: The fourth edition of the unique Mahindra Kabira Festival is on its way back to historic, fascinating Varanasi to celebrate the life, works and philosophy of 15th-century mystic-poet Kabir, who is believed to have been born there.
Presenting a rich two-day programme of music, literature, discourse, curated walks, boat rides on the Ganga, and an array of local cuisine, the Mahindra Kabira Festival will run from November 22nd to the 24th, 2019, offering an immersive experience inspired by Kabir’s teachings.
Music sessions by leading artistes on the rugged ghats of Varanasi, walks down mysterious city alleys, talks and discourses, dreamy boat rides on a timeless river, and food that is linked with Varanasi’s ancient culinary traditions, are all on the anvil.
A brainchild of the Mahindra Group and pioneering performing arts and entertainment company, Teamwork Arts, the Mahindra Kabira Festival celebrates Kabir and the inherent wisdom of his verses through its varied programme offerings.
The Festival’s 2019 line-up includes young and passionate performers like Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café, Neeraj Mishra and Ujwal Nagar, along with veterans like Om Prakash Nayak, Mooralala Marwada, Shabnam Virmani and noted sarangi player Ustad Kamal Sabri, among others, at the famous Shivala and Guleria Ghats.
In its previous three editions, the Mahindra Kabira Festival has hosted acclaimed and popular vocalists like Kailash Kher, Shubha Mudgal, Malini Awasthi, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Vidya Shah, Vidya Rao and Prahlad Tipaniya.
This year, the Festival brings together unique collaborations of artistes, cultural organisations and Kabir stalwarts. Celebrated Meghwal singer Mooralala Marwada’s distinct voice and folk music will swirl together with Kabir Café’s livewire rock fusion to form a heady mix.
Three-time Grammy nominee Pt Ajay Shankar Prasanna will present a collaborative ‘Flute Symphony’ with eminent artistes experimenting with the sounds of the wind.
The Festival will also collaborate with Unity Earth, an international organisation on a mission to accelerate the realisation of unity and peace on earth.
World-class musicians associated with the organisation will present exclusive jam sessions at the Festival. The Kabir Math will partner with the Festival to bring to the forefront more of the mystic poet’s teachings.
Talking about the festival, Jay Shah, Vice President, Head – Cultural Outreach, Mahindra Group, said, “The ethos of the Mahindra Group centres around effecting positive change in the lives of the people and communities we engage with through our businesses and initiatives.
In addition to this, respect for the dignity of the individual is one of our most important core values. The Mahindra Kabira Festival helps us further these ideas and reinforces our commitment to the arts.
The first three editions of the Festival have met with great appreciation and praise, and we are delighted to continue presenting this festival in its fourth year with a very exciting programme.”
Acclaimed author Purushottam Agrawal will enlighten the audience on Kabir’s work and philosophy over a literary discourse. There will be a specially-curated storytelling performance by actor and co-founder of Jashn-E-Qalam, KC Shankar.
The Festival will also offer an experience of being on the enigmatic mystic’s trail through ‘Heritage Walks’, curated and conducted by Navneet Raman and Ajay Pandey from the Benares Cultural Foundation.
Local artists from Kala Prakash – sitar player Neeraj Mishra and flautist Rakesh Kumar will present cultural performances.
Says Sanjoy Roy, MD, Teamwork Arts, “We are delighted once again to celebrate the profound clear-sightedness of Kabir, the eternal mystic, in his birthplace, with a line-up of celebrated musicians and litterateurs."
"Like every year, we look forward to an evocative experience at the Mahindra Kabira Festival 2019, which will salute not only Kabir's universality, but also his acute relevance in today's chaotic world, where his words hold up the promise of simplicity and peace. Join us this November in Varanasi to discover 'the Kabir way’.”
While attendance to certain events like Morning and Evening Music across the two days is free and open to all, the festival has in store customised Delegate Packages which offer a curated experience.
These meticulously planned one and two-day packages are an opportunity to live out the history of one of the world’s oldest cities and its powerful character while coming close to understanding Kabir’s essentially syncretic path of life.
Delegates also have an option to choose from a range of designated Festival Hotels to stay at during their visit.
The detailed artiste line-up and programme will be announced soon. For more information visit the official Mahindra Kabira website.
Date: 22nd – 24th November 2019.
General Entry: Free registration for the Morning and Evening Musical Performances.
Delegate Entry: One-day (INR 13,000) and two-day (INR 25,000) Delegate Packages for a one-of-a-kind Festival experience.
Accommodation Package: Hotel packages offer a wide range of choices.
Note: Accommodation packages mandate the additional purchase of the two-day Delegate Package (one package per person) since all hotel stays come with a 2-day, 3-night booking duration. Starting from INR 20,000/- for 3 nights and 2 days and going up to INR 1, 46,000/-, these cover select hotels across the city.