Musically Inspired

The Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav is an annual event in Pune, Maharashtra that attracts classical Hindustani music aficionados from India and overseas as well. Obviously the festival has grown over the years and is continuing even after the founder Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi passed away. 

There can be several inspirations for travel – architecture, history, natural wonders, food, bragging points (ahem)… But music too is a huge motivator for people to travel. India with its rich musical heritage has music festivals of repute held across the country. Its an excellent opportunity to hear stalwarts and upcoming artists and see the local sites as well. I can say that with confidence because it was music that took me to Bhopal and I could see Sanchi Stupas because of that visit! 

Here is my collation of music festivals around India. Hope it can inspire at least a few travellers!
(Kindly reconfirm information about dates and entry tickets before your visit.) 

1.  The Harivallabh Sangeet Mahasabha
in Jalandhar, Punjab. This
was first held in 1875 and is now held in the last week of December every
year. Entry is free. Here is the programme for Dec 2014.

2. Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav – Held in Pune each year in the first half of December. Usually spread over four days, the performances are held in the evening but the last day (which is always a Sunday) has events in the morning as well. Thus tourists can use the morning hours to visit other places in Pune, join a heritage walk and get some shopping done too! Ticketed entry. This is a link to the schedule for Dec 2014.

3. Dover Lane Music Conference in Kolkata, West Bengal. Here is the link. Ticketed entry.

4. Saptak Music Festival in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Held from 01 to 13 January every year. Entry is for members. Here is a link to their Jan 2015 event.

5. Tansen Samaroh at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh is yet another important event for Hindustani classical music lovers and is a tribute to the maestro Tansen. Here is a link to their 2014 events and the festival will be held from 05 to 08 Dec 2014.

The DD Bharati Channel has live telecasts of some of the above music festivals. 

There would be many more such music events in other cities. We would love to hear about those too. 

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