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Patiala heritage fest back after 12 yrs

Patiala, February 20: After a decade-long hiatus, the annual heritage festival is set to return to the royal city — courtesy the change of guard in the state.
The brainchild of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the week-long event will be inaugurated by him at Quila Mubarak on February 21.

The festival, which was held four years in a row (2003-06) during Capt Amarinder’s previous term as Chief Minister, was discontinued when the Akalis came to power in 2007.

This time, the festival not only aims to raise funds for the restoration of Quila Mubarak, the historic fort of the Phulkian dynasty, but also to put Patiala on the country’s tourist map. The Congress government has drawn a comprehensive plan to promote tourism in several cities. In the first phase, the focus is on Patiala.
Deputy Commissioner Kumar Amit said, “Several development and restoration works are being undertaken at a brisk pace. The festival will also highlight Sheesh Mahal (built by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh) and Yadavindra Public School (founded by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh).

A crafts mela is being organised at Sheesh Mahal. Stalls have reportedly gone for as high as Rs 4 lakh each. Jang-e-Saragarhi, a light-and-sound show, will be held at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports. A cricket match will be played at the Dhruv Pandove Cricket Stadium . A car rally for the blind and a cycle rally are also scheduled.

The festival will feature top names in classical music and dance, including composer-poet-lyricist Dr Madan Gopal Singh, Patiala Gharana exponent Pandit Ajoy Chakravorty, Ustad Shujaat Khan, Rampur Sahaswan Gharana vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan and Sufi-inspired kathak exponent Manjari Chaturvedi.

Performances by qawwals from Hyderabad, the Warsi brothers, and Punjabi artiste Harshdeep Kaur will also be held.

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