During the year 1986, the Konark Dance & Music Festival was started. After this, every year such occasion is celebrated at Konark with a great gesture. It’s the Konark Natya Mandap where this dance and music festival is organized every year since then. Padmashree Guru Gnagadhar Pradhan is the founder and director of this dance and music festival. As far as the contemporary festivals of this state are concerned, Konark dance and music festival is often considered as the harbinger. The prime objective behind this festival is to bring many artists towards its cultural family as well as to create international cultural brotherhood and amity.
Since the inception, this festival has managed to draw attention from both international and national level artists who use to perform Odishi, Manipuri, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam and other classical dances here. This festival is also the right time to see the tribal and folk dances which are performed by the artists who use to come from different parts of the Odisha state. Close to the Sun temple of Konark, the Natyashala is established during this festival where you can see all these performances. During this time, both the atmosphere of Konark and the stage is magnified by the aesthetic and spiritual flavor. And the casuarinas as well as cashew trees surrounding this stage use to add more flavor and ambience for the whole setting. Every year this festival is organized from 19th to 23rd Feb. it is also considered as one of the biggest dance and music festivals organized in a country like India.
It’s the prime shrine where you can see the Dancing Hall. Every wall of this dancing hall is covered with the fine artistic images and designs that belong to the ancient times. During this festival, musicians from different parts of the world and from far corner of India use to come here to show their talent and skills. This dance and music festival is arranged both by the Odishi Research Center and Odisha Tourism Department.