Maharashtra all set to organise Elephanta Caves silver jubilee extravaganza on 15-16 March

American Jazzist George Brooks with his Sax will be part of the 25th edition musical extravaganza also comprising Pundit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Sufi singers, kathak artistes, Hindustani Classical Vocal and Instrumental Fusion of flute, sax, harp and table at the Gateway of India – and not at the Elephanta Island and caves, Dr Jagdish Patil, MD, MTDC said here on Tuesday.

He said the venue had been changed to accommodate the growing number of Indian and foreign tourists, logistics due to the late shows and also highlighting environmental protection by avoiding use of five or six generators that add to pollution to the island.  Besides the famed Gateway of India would provide a platform for artistes to showcase Indian culture and highlight talent at the same time since the Elephanta Island villagers too would be giving performances, he said.

Heritage walks, sculpture and painting competitions along with handicrafts by tribal artistes too will be added to the event as such festivals are promoting tourism destinations alongside culture, he said.

The Elephanta Caves, which are 7 kms wide and 7 kms far from Mumbai, are named after a colossal elephant called “Gharapuri” found on the island and whose statue is housed at Jijamata Garden In Mumbai. In ancient periods, the place is mentioned in the Aihole inscription of Pulakesin II and was under the sway of the Konkan-Mauryas, Trikutakas, Chalukyas of Badami, Silaharas, Rashtrakutas, Kalyani Chalukyas, Yadavas of Deogiri, Muslim rulers of Ahmedabad and the Portuguese, before the Marathas and British.
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