Konark Festival (1st-5th December)
The annual Konark Festival, which is held in an open air auditorium with the temple as the backdrop, showcases a magical parade of India’s classical and traditional dance forms. Eminent dancers and their troupe delight visitors in the wintry evening of early December with dramatic choreographies. Besides, the dance performances the visitors will be treated, in an Artist Camp, to an exhibition of Orissan temple sculptures which are often described as poetry transcribed on stone. Sand Art exhibition will be yet another attraction for tourists.It is a festival of classical dances of India performed at the backdrop of the Sun Temple, Konark.
Konark Dance & Music Festival (19th-23rd February)
This festival has established its own unique identity in the sense that eminent artistes of national and international repute participate and perform Odissi, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam and other classical, folk & tribal dances/music of our country on the enchanting stage of the Natyashala in the monumental Sun Temple, Konark. The stage and the atmosphere is magnified by the spiritual and aesthetic flavor, in the natural ambience of casuarinas and cashew trees.
Kalinga Mahotsav (23rd-24th February)
A fabulous feast of dizzying dancing and dynamic stage presentations, is held at the hill of the famous Peace Pagoda. It showcases the vibrant traditions of martial arts of India through a colorful display of dances and music. The calm and solemn statue of Buddha overlooking the entire stage from the top of the stupa and the tranquil expanse of the countryside populated by paddy fields and cashew plantations provides the peaceful background to the outburst of movements and sounds which accompany the performance of the martial artists. The Martial dancers interpret incredible postures of aggression, self-defence and escape in graceful dance-forms with their swords, spears and shields. They thrill audience with their rhythm and precision of movement.The aim of the festival is to harmonize the vigor of martial tradition with the sublimity of peace through the art of dance.
Dhauli Mahotsav (25th-27th March)
Dhauli Mahotsav was started in 2003 by Orissa Dance Academy(one of the premier cultural institution of Orissa founded by Guru Gangadhar Pradhan in the year 1975) in order to create an awareness of our cultural heritage among the people of Orissa. The Mahotsav showcases a wide range of rural art and culture from classical to folk items such as Odissi dance, Odissi vocal, Mardal recital, Chhau dance, Daskathia, Pala, Yajna, Sankirtan, etc. Near about 500 artisties from different disciplines perform on the different days of the Mahotsav. The event aims to embrace many artists into its cultural fold and also at international cultural amity and harmony.
Rajarani Music Festival (January)
This festival is held against the backdrop of the 11th century Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar during the month of January..Celestial music, sublime surroundings and soothing climes of late winter-soul traverses to an elevated sphere leaving you utterly relaxed.The ambiance is relaxing, entertaining and uplifting. The city has a large assemblage of celebrated temples of which the Rajarani Temple is one of the most conspicuous.
It’s remarkable for the absence any presiding deity in it. The temple is famous for its ornate deul or compass and the statues of eight Dipalakas guarding the eight cardinal directions of the temple.The musical evenings are resplendent with excellent performances by the great maestros of Indian classical music creating an allegory of darbari gayans (musical performances in an Indian king’s court) of age old histories.Eminent instrumentalists and vocalists of India have rendered scintillating performance in this festival over the years.
Parav-Tribal Dance Festival (November 16-18)
With 62 Tribes, Orissa is rich in tribal culture. The simple tribes have developed a host of dance forms to enjoy their life after a day’s hard work. With a view to unfolding this aspect of the tribal culture a festival of tribal dances known as ‘Parava’ is organised in Koraput for a period of about a month in October-November through out the Koraput district culminating in the final event at Koraput every year. The tribal dancers with their traditional costumes and typical head gears keep the visitors amused. Besides the tribal dances this is also an occasion to witness the local products displayed in a craft Mela for exhibition as well as sale.
Adivasi Mela at Bhubaneswar (January 26- February 09)
The Orissa State Level Annual Adivasi Exhibition, popularly known as Adivasi Mela, showcases the art and craft of the tribal communities. The special highlights of the fete are the forest products and tribal products, exhibited and sold as well as cultural programmes presented by tribal communities. This is a rare occasion to have a glimpse of the unique tribal culture of Orissa in the urban city of Bhubaneswar. Local residents eagerly wait for this annual opportunity to buy their yearly needs while tourists throng to get an over all picture and feel of the tribal society.
It was being organised for one week from 26th January every year but In view of the popularity of the event gained over the past years, the period of the Mela has been extended from one week to fifteen days. Now it is scheduled from 26th January to 9th February every year from 2010.
Folk Dance Festival at Sambalpur (January 4-6)
Orissa is rich in folk dances besides the Classical Odissi Dance. A festival is organised at Sambalpur for three days from 4th to 6th January to present glimpses of folk dances of Orissa from different regions. The scintillating dances accompanied by rhythmic music, vocal as well as instrumental, keep the visitors spell bound. The dancers and the accompanists also present glimpses of the local handloom fabric through their costumes, which is another attraction of the area.
Khandagiri Mela & Kharavela Mahotsava at Khandagiri (January-February)
A grand fair is held at Khandagiri near Bhubaneswar from Magha Saptami day which continues for about a week.A variety of local hand made products, especially from the rural areas, are displayed for sale.
A festival of Indian classical and folk dances is also organized here during this period by the K N Memorial Foundation on an open air pandal in the evening hours.