Location: Shilpgram, Near Taj Mahal, Agra
Time: February, Every year
Duration: 10 days, 18th February to 27th February
Organized by: Department of Tourism, Government of India
Significance: Celebrated to promote rich arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, dance and music of the state and country.
Highlights: A procession taken out in the typical Mughal era style, food festival, performances by folk musicians and dancers, etc.
Taj Mahotsav is being celebrated successfully since 1992 in Agra in the month of February for ten days, from 18th February to 27th February. Organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of India, Taj Mahotsav is mainly dedicated to the promotion of country's rich art and craft, culture, cuisine, dance and music. In fact, it serves as an acknowledgment to the craftsmen as well as the exponents of art, music and cuisine from all over the country. A large number of Indian and foreign tourists coming to Agra join this festivity of multi facets. The venue of the festival of Taj Mahotsav is Shilpgram, which is a stone's throw away distance from Taj Mahal. The festival starts with a procession, including bejeweled elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artists and master craftsmen. A major highlight of this festival is the availability of fabulous works of art and craft at the most authenticated prices that are not sky rocketed by high maintenance cost.
This procession is an effort to reconstruct the ones that were taken out during the time of the Mughals. The crafts that are displayed in the festival have immense variety as over 400 legendary artisans from different parts of the country get an opportunity to showcase their talent. The crafts include woodcarvings of Saharanpur, brass and other metal ware of Moradabad, handmade carpets of Badohi, blue pottery of Khurja, Chikan work of Lucknow, silk of Varanasi, pottery from Khurja, shawls and carpets from Kashmir/Gujarat, hand printing from Farrukhabad, wood/stone carvings from Tamil Nadu, bamboo/cane work from North East India, kantha stitch from West Bengal, and paper & mash work from South India. Additionally, visitors also get to witness some of the spectacular performances by artists from every nook and corner of the country. The folk dances are sure to engulf you in their charisma and keep you enthralled for a long time.
One of the major attractions of the Taj Mahal Mahotsav of Agra is the Food Festival, where you can get some of the oldest and the most typical delicacies from the interiors of Uttar Pradesh and rest of India like chole bhature, Indian samosa, poori sabji, gulab jamun, Lucknavi kebab, South Indian dosa, Amritsari naan, Hyderabadi biryani etc. Throughout the Mahotsav, the visitors can experience the richness of folk, classical music, and dances from various regions of the country in the way they were performed centuries ago. Moreover, it's got something for everyone in the family as when the adults are busy with the arts, crafts, and cultural shows, the children too can indulge themselves in delightful food and fun fair that forwards various rides including the splendid roller coaster or the smaller ones like merry-go-round or train rides. Coming February, come and be a part of the festivity and you're sure to go home with feelings that'll have nostalgia running in every vein of your body in the time to come. And if this doesn't do it, the spectacular visit to the Taj Mahal will definitely do the needful.