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The death anniversary of Sawai Gandharva is celebrated annually as Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav. Know more about the festival with this article.

Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav

Venue: Pune, Maharashtra
Time: December
Duration: Three days
Highlights: Mastersas well as practicing artists gather to present their talent

Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav is a famous music festival which is celebrated every year in Pune, Maharashtra.The festival is observed annually in the month of December in the first two weeks for 3 days. Sawai Gandharva Music Festival is the most promising place for the primary vocalists of the other Gharanas. It has also become the favorite destination for instrumentalists as well as dancers. Artists, who have already attained masters in their subject come here to showcase their talent too. Everyone, including the renowned musicians and practicing artists, come to this festival pay their tribute to the great musician Pandit Rambhan Kundgolkar, also known as 'Sawai Gandharva'.

The festival had originated in the year 1953 to pay homage to the first death-anniversary of Sawai Gandharva of Kiran Gharana. Disciples of Sawai Gandharva organized a music festival in his remembrance with the support of Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. This sangeet festival played a very crucial role in the advancement of Indian classical music in the time of post-independence. This festival also gave rise to public performances of Indian classical music. From the past 53 years, the death anniversary of Sawai Gandharva is celebrated without any clause. The festival mostly ends with a grand performance by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, a disciple of Sawai Gandharva.

Types of Music
This festival is really appreciated by the artists. In this music festival, performers from all over India come to participate and present their musical talent. To come on the stage of Sawai Gandharva Festival denotes beginning of an artist in the panorama of Indian classical music. This festival attracts a large crowd of various prominent artists from all over the country. In Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav, artists from different vocal gharanas come to present their talent. Some of the popular gharanas are Kiran Gharana, Agra Gharana, Gwalior Gharana and Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana.

Spread of This Festival
At that time music festivals with particular Gharana were famous. Along with this, musicians also wanted to make their Gharana's style and artists popular. This music festival gave an opportunity to bring coalesce the different styles of music into one platform. Followers of classical music take part in this outstanding music festival with immense interest and enthusiasm. People eagerly wait for this grand music festival held in Pune. It wouldn't be wrong to say that Sawai Ghandharva Sangeet Sammelan has become a trademark in the annual cultural calendar of Pune. In 2002, Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.

Other Attractions
Agakhan Palace, in which there are Italian arches and lawns, is the place where Britishers had prisoned Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadeo bhai at the time of Quit India Movement. Samadhi of Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mahatma Gandhi is also located near this palace. Shaniwar Wada is another place of attraction. In 1736, it was built by Balaji Rao (the grandfather of the last Peshwa). Pataleshwar Cave Temple is very well-designed with a Nandi mapandapam at the entrance. These are a few tourist sites to visit in Pune.

How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airport to this place is situated near Lohagaon, at a distance of 12 kms from Pune. The airport is connected to the major cities of India. From the airport, one can easily take taxi to reach the venue.

By Train: Pune is well-connected with all the towns & cities of India. From Railway Station, you can take a bus or hire a taxi in order to reach the venue.

By Road: Pune has an excellent network of roads, connecting the city with all the major cities within Maharashtra and other states.