The Taj Mahotsava Festival, also called the Taj Festival, is a ten-day celebration held in Agra usually in the month of February. It is a fantastic cultural introduction to India, with the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal serving as the backdrop for the celebrations.
The Taj Mahotsav is obviously a big draw for tourists traveling to Agra during that period. It began as an endeavor by the State Government’s Tourism Department to promote tourism in Uttar Pradesh and has grown to become a culturally vibrant platform that brings together the finest traditional Indian performing arts and crafts from all over the nation.
The atmosphere is that of a grand fair. There is high quality folk music, shayari (traditional recited poetry) and classical dance performances. There are elephant and camel rides, exhibitions of traditional Indian sports as well as an Indian cuisine festival.
The main events of Taj Mahal festival include classical dance performances by leading dance experts and musical recitals by maestros, other cultural shows such as puppetry, along with displays of various craft products.
The festivities commence with a spectacular procession inspired by Mughal splendor. Bedecked elephants and camels, folk artists, musicians and master craftsmen all help to recreate a visual delight reminiscent of the golden era of the Mughal Rulers.
The food festival of Taj Mahotsava is an experience to savor with samplings of the exotic cuisines of India. Delicacies are prepared by the top chefs of the region in the typical styles from the interiors of Uttar Pradesh.
The Craft Mela, held during the Taj Mahotsav festival, showcases the rich expertise of Indian craftsmen. Exquisite crafts like marble inlays, wood carvings from Saharanpur, brass and other metal-ware from Moradabad, handmade carpets from Badohi, the blue pottery of Khurja, the chikan (embroidery) work of Lucknow and the silk of Benares are exhibited during the Taj Festival in India.
The Taj Mahotsav enables one to experience in one location a very wide spectrum of India’s traditional creative arts. There is folk music and dance from many parts of the country, such as nautanki (India’s ancient version of theatre), the Sapera (snake) dance of Rajasthan, the Lavani performances of Maharashtra, and Shayari (poetry).