Mathura, 2019.03.10 (VT): BTVP has issued the calendar for Holi ‘Rangotsav’ 2019 which will be a ten-day program (March 13-22) this year.
The event will begin on March 13 with a ‘Brajbhasha Kavi-Sammelan’ (literary meet) in which poets from Mathura, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Hathras, Aligarh and other nearby cities will take part.
Renowned Hindi author and poet, Padma Shri Ashok Chakradhar and HariOm Panwar (recipient of Suryakant Tripathi Nirala Puraskar) have been invited for the ‘Rashtriya Kavi Sammelan’ (National Literary Meet).
Holi in Braj is a global attraction drawing millions of devotees and tourists from all over the world every year. The cultural festival provides a great opportunity to showcase the Dham’s heritage. Such events also provide a fillip to dwindling arts like Kushti – an ancient Indian form of combat-wrestling, known locally as ‘Mallavidya’ or ‘Malla-yuddha’.
Until five decades ago, the ‘Akhada tradition’ of Braj was intact in all its glory. Traditional centres of ‘Mallavidya’ including the Bhuteshwar Akhada, Bengali Ghat Akhara, Maladhaari Akhada, Antaryami Akhada, and Yashodanandan Mandir Akhada produced many ‘Braj Kesaris’ (an honorific title given to outstanding wrestlers) over the years.
Unfortunately, modern gym culture and ‘studio yoga’ have eclipsed much of the place of this celebrated institution.
It is hoped that the ‘Rangotsav 2019 Kushti Dangal’ will support and encourage ‘Mallavidya’ practitioners in the face of this disconcerting reality. Male and female ‘pehelwans’ (wrestlers) from all over India have been invited to take part in the event. A monetary reward of Rs. 13 lakh has been announced for the winners.
The festival will also revive the tradition of ‘Holi Gayan’ which used to be organised at Holi Gate (Mathura), but was discontinued in the recent past for various reasons.
March 13: Braj Bhasha Kavi Sammelan, 3pm onwards at Vrindavan Research Institute
March 14: Cultural Program, 2pm onwards at Shri Radhabihari Inter College, Barsana
March 15: Cultural Program, 6pm onwards at Shri Radhabihari Inter College, Barsana
March 16: Cultural Program, 6pm onwards at Apsara Talkies, Holi Gate (Mathura)
March 17: Braj Rasiya Gayan, Bhajan Sandhya, 7pm onwards at Apsara Talkies, Holi Gate (Mathura) & Kushti Dangal, 1pm onwards at GLA University
March 18: Akhil Bharatiya Kavi Sammelan, 7pm onwards at Apsara Talkies, Holi Gate (Mathura) & Kushti Dangal, 1pm onwards at GLA University
March 19: Kushti Dangal, 1pm onwards at GLA University