Taj Mahotsav / Taj Festival is an annual 10-day cultural festival at Shilpgram in Agra, India from 18th to 27th February. This festival invokes the memories of the old Mughal era and Nawabi style prevalent in Uttar Pradesh in the 18th and 19th centuries.
This cultural bonanza was started in the year 1992 and since then its grandeur has reached greater heights. This festival also figures in the calendar of events of the Department of Tourism, Government of India. A large number of Indian and foreign tourists coming to Agra join the festival. One of the objectives of the Craft Mela during this festival is to provide encouragement to the Indian artisans. It also makes available the magnificent work of art and craft at the most reasonable and authentic prices that are not inflated by middlemen.
Arts & Crafts
In the Taj Mahotsav about 400 legendary artisans from different parts of the country get an opportunity to display their exquisite works of art.
To name a few among them are the wood/stone carvings from Tamilnadu, bamboo/cane work from the North East ern states of India, papiermache work from South India and Kashmir, the marble and Zardozi work from Agra, wood carving from Saharanpur, brasswares from Moradabad, handmade carpets from Bhadohi, Pottery from Khurja, Chikan work from Lucknow, silk & Zari work from Banaras, shawls & carpets from Kashmir/Gujarat and hand-printing from Farrukhabad and Kantha stitch embroidery from West Bengal etc.
The festival starts with a road procession with decorated elephants and camels like the victory processions of Mughal emperors and warlords. Drum beaters, trumpet players, folk dancers, skilled craftsmen and artisans also join the procession. Artists from all over India come here to display their art and craftmanship.
Apart from the exquisite craft work you can experience the majestic and magnetic performances by artistes from every walks of life. The soul-stirring performances will engulf you to the extent of casting a spell. Throughout the Mahotsav, one can experience a profusion of folk & classical music & dances of various regions, especially the Brij Bhumi, performed the way they used to be centuries ago. The experience is so enthralling that one would not stop onesself from joining the dance with the folk dancers. Besides folk music and dance, the Mahotsav also exhibits the performance from the world renowned artists from classical, semi-classical and popular art-forms.
The Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society understands the value of the event and utilizes different folk dances to campaign about AIDS awareness.
Every year the Taj Mahotsav is celebrated with a message or theme for the world. In 2017 the theme for Taj Mahotsav was “विरासत की छाँव में” (“In the shadow of heritage”). Through this theme, the whole heritage of the zone which provides a backdrop to the festival is highlighted.
Fun Fair :
Funfair is the biggest attraction for children in the festival. It is a complete family entertainment which offers thrill and amusement for every one. Teenagers and adults enjoy various rides and roller coasters while children are happy with small ride such as merry-go-round, Train-rides and Ferris wheel. Taj Mahotsav is therefore great fun for the whole family.
Taj Mahotsav Cuisine : Tasty treats of Indian kitchens :
Any fest is incomplete without the cuisines and delicacy delights. You will have plethora of food options available in this festival. Almost all kinds of food from Indian states are prepared and served here. If you are foodie traveler then you have landed at the right place. Older than centuries and traditional cuisines of Uttar Pradesh, is served here. The mouth watering and finger-licking food attracts the travelers and tourist by its aroma. One must taste the cuisines served in this festival.