Situated in the center, Madhya Pradesh, was once the largest state in India. A visit to this land, in the very heart of India gives unexpected and delightful experiences. Madhya Pradesh has had a glorious past with various empires ruling the state. It has centuries-old culture of warriors and Builders, of Poets and Musicians, of Saints and Philosophers.
The people of Madhya Pradesh are simple and fun loving and without any inhibitions. The interiors of the vast state are inhabited by various tribes. The tribes have their own festivals and festivities and celebrations. There are hardly any festivals specific to the region. All the common festivals like the national festivals and the festivals like Diwali, Id or Christmas are celebrated with equal fervour. As Madhya Pradesh shares the borders with five other states the bordering districts or places have incorporated the festivities and occasions of that particular state along with the language and food habbits. The places bordering Gujarat celebrate festivals similar to the Gujarati people and like wise.
The few festivals those which stand apart from rest of the country are the local festivals.
The Gana Gour festival is celebrated with much gaiety in Madhya Pradesh. Celebrated during the Shrawan month of Hindu calendar in July-August. The people believe that Gour, wife of Shiva, was married to Shiva and they stayed in Rajasthan. She could come home only once a year. This coming back is celebrated by these people here. They make small idols of the Gour and worship her along with her husband. The Gordhan festival celebrated after Diwali has its history in the legend of Krishna, who saved his village from drowning by holding the mighty GovardhanMountain. Gordhan is celebrated as the festival of cows and cattle. The cattle is decorated and fed goodies on this day.
Madhya Pradesh is more famous as a host for the renowned cultural festivals. The most famous being the Khajuraho festival of Dances. It is said the traditional art of Indian classical dances was born from the temples. These forms of dances were sort of prayers invoking the deity, which later attained a different status and a stage as well. At Khajuraho the dances are performed with the same devotion and enthusiasm.
People from all over the world come to watch eminent artists perform under the aegis of the ancient wonderful temples. The sculptures and the stones magnify the performances. The Chandelas built the temples as an ode to life and living, the performances are an ode to the beauty within. The cultural festival is an enthralling experience with the ancient stone sculptures forming the background. An annual affair every March, it is a must visit event and a lifetime experience.
The other cultural festival that Madhya Pradesh hosts is the Tansen Music festival at Gwalior. The Gwalior Gharana has always been one of the most prominent styles of the Hindustani classical music. The lineage that Madhya Pradesh and especially Gwalior has provided to the Hindustani classical music under the patronage of various Kings is well known. The patriarch of the Hindustani Classical music and one of the nine jewels of the Emperor Akbars court, Ustad Tansen lays buried in Gwalior. The tomb of Tansen is the living cultural heritage of Gwalior. Built in Mughal style of architecture, the simplicity of the tomb is what is more attractive. This place comes alive with distinguished artists performances when the place becomes the venue for the annual music festival. What other better way to pay homage to the great singer but performing on his tomb, under his blessings.
People from far and wide come here to listen to the artists.