First-ever Buddhist Festival at Lalitgiri from November 25

Express News Service, November 23 2007

BHUBANESWAR, India -- The famous Buddhist site of Lalitgiri will play host to the first-ever Buddhist Festival in the State, beginning on November 25. Several artistes from here and outside are expected to perform in the three-day event.

Kolkata-based Arjama Group would stage Rabindranath Tagore’s famous dramatic work ‘Chandalika’ in dance and puppetry form. It is based on an ancient Buddhist legend describing how Lord Gautam Buddha’s disciple Ananda asks water from an adivasi.

A day-long workshop on ‘art of stone carving’ would also be organsised during the course of the festival by local artisans.

Governor M C Bhandare will inaugurate the festival. Several key figures from the Centre as well as from the State would join in. Lalitgiri, which has gained prominence over the years as a major tourist spot, is famous for the golden casket of the relics of Lord Buddha. The Archaeological Survey of India is setting up a museum and a strong room for display of the relics. It is also a prominent crafts village.