NEW DELHI: The air was heady with excitement at the Red Fort in New Delhi on Saturday as beams of colourful laser lights brought this heritage monument to life.
At a distance, joyous screams of children enjoying the Ferris Wheel rides filled up the atmosphere. The mood indeed was festive as Bharat Bhagya Vidhata, a 10-day festival organised by the Dalmia Bharat group to commemorate 75th year of Independence came to a close at the 17th century monument.
The festival that began on March 25 was all about spectacular thematic cultural fusion showcasing India’s rich history and kaleidoscopic diversity in art, heritage, culture, cuisine and more. The festival attracted large crowds ever since it opened. Over 15,000 entries were clocked on the last day itself.
“The festival aimed to evoke pride and patriotism in youth of India. At the festival, we tried to showcase the five thousand year-old glorious history of our civilisation and the contributions we made to the world in the field of mathematics, mathematics, science, spirituality through a 20 minute projection mapping show on the front facade of the Red Fort,” Puneet Dalmia, MD of Dalmia Bharat Group told The New Indian.
If there were joy rides to entice the children, there was an array of food to lure the entire families. An eclectic mix of food representing cuisines from across India proved to be a major draw among people, who thronged the festival.
The festival was well received by the locals as well as foreign tourists. Speaking to The New Indian, Alan Graveson, a Canadian origin teacher at the American Embassy School recalled the Vancouver festival and his love for the festivities in India.
“The festival, as we planned it, was meant to celebrate the soul of India that is full of diversity, whether in terms of food, music, dances, language or religion. But despite being so diverse, this beautiful country melts together and what emerges is unity in diversity,” Dalmia, an alumnus of IIT and IIM, told The New Indian.
Another highlight of this festive was an exhibition called Bharat Gaurav, where 75 attractions were showcased. A set of 40 ancient icons and 35 achievements of India had the crowds thronging for a mere glimpse.
The variety in the festival could be judged by how a replica of Cow from Chhattisgarh made for a popular “selfie point” at the festival and a live play on UPI payment system attracted large number of visitors as an expression of New India.
In the recent times, a slew of initiatives are being undertaken to make the iconic Red Fort a prominent cultural hub in the country. Efforts are being made to showcase the festive spirit of the country, especially planned around most celebrated festivals in the country such as Holi, Diwali, Eid, Guru Parab and Christmas.
The next edition, shared the organisers, will serve a more powerful message emanating from the same idea but in more engaging ways. Among the highlights planned would be sound and lights shows inside the Red Fort as well as live performances by actors, they said.
“We had a fantastic audience who were responsive. It’s so nice to see the glory of India,” Dr. L Subramaniam told TNI soon after his performance.
With assistance from Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav secretariat, Ministry of Tourism, Minister of Culture, and Archaeological Survey of India, the Dalmia Bharat group brought several tableaus from the states and ministries, which were showcased at the Republic Day parade.
Singer Shan was a mass attraction. So were the performances of Nizami Brothers, L Subramanium, Anand Bhardwaj, CEO Heritage and Events at Dalmia Bharat Group shared.
“We expected a good crowd because Covid has been on the decline. But unfortunately March has hotter than we anticipated. It’s heartening to see that people are still coming,” he added.