Virasat “A Cultural Heritage Festival in Dehradun”
Virasat which literally translates to “heritage” is one of the most talked about and awaited fests of Doon. It is quite popular among the local populace as well as the tourists, who eye on it, as it displays the colourful culture of our diverse land. People from far-flung areas come here to witness the beauty of the varied cultures that intertwine here.
Virasat has been recognised as the Afro-Asia biggest folklife and heritage festival. Art and culture connoisseurs must throng here to admire the cultural heritage of India. This mega event is organised by REACH (Rural Entrepreneurship for Art & Cultural Heritage) an NGO and Trust.
History of Virasat:
Virasat was first held in Dehradun in the year 1995. In 2008, it spread its roots in Delhi and became a nationwide event. In Delhi, the event was launched on 2 September 2008, with programmes in Delhi and 300 other localities, lasting until December.
Many famous artists such as Birju Maharaj, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, T.N. Seshagopalan, Alarmel Valli, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Shovana Narayan, Pt. Rajan, and Sajan Misra, Teejan Bai, added five stars to the event by entertaining the audience with their stellar performances.
Aim of Virasat:
Virasat came into being with the motive to bring forth the warm culture, art, folklife, and heritage of India. This ethnic kaleidoscope encapsulates the feisty spirit of the Himalayas. Virasat lures exponents from every nook and cranny of the country, to become a part of this grandiose, Himalayan cultural fiesta.
What to expect at Virasat:
At Virasat, you can savour the rich flavours of different cultures that are showcased under one roof. The festival usually lasts for 15 days, which includes performances and workshops in Indian folk and classical arts, literature, crafts, theatre, cinema, and Yoga. Legends of Indian Classical music, maestros of dance and ace craftsmen are invited to partake in the event.
You can shop handicraft items, ethnic weaves, tribal jewellery, decorative pieces and other collectible items from different states in India. From colourful Punjabi Fulkari dupattas, Gujarati mirror-work lehenga-choli to Lac bangles from Rajasthan. You can buy anything from here that suits your taste.
Many distinguished artists and renowned bands from across the country make this festival a hit among the music enthusiasts. In past, Drona Ganguly, Shujat Khan, Wadali Bandhu, Warsi Brothers, Peenaz Masani etc. have managed to cast a spell on the audience.
Culture of Uttarakhand is exhibited in full splendour at Virasat:
Virasat is one such event where the diverse culture of Uttarakhand gets a centre stage. The varied ethnic groups and tribes hailing from Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayas exhibit their culture, dance, and artifacts here.
Folk dance forms like Pandav Nritya, Barada Nati, Langvir Nritya, Choliya dance etc. are performed at Virasat by the regional dancers hailing from Garhwal, Kumaon and Jaunsar-Bawar region of Uttarakhand.
Indigenous food items, grains, pulses, and juices of Himalayan fruits and flowers are also put on sale here. If you want to know more about the aboriginal Himalayan people of Uttarakhand, their lifestyle, food habits, and culture then you shouldn’t miss the opportunity.
Food at Virasat:
Chill foodaholics, your taste-goblet won’t’ be left untreated here. You can gorge on mouth-watering delicacies from the various food stalls present in the arena. From Indian street food to the flavours of Garhwal and Kumaon.
The tempting aroma of the Pahadi dishes will make you drool. Apart from this, you can also buy the famous food items, products, sweets from different regions in India at the stalls located here.
Date, Timings and Venue for Virasat, Dehradun:
Date for Virasat 2019:
(The fair isn’t currently running in the city, info regarding the future events will be updated soon)
Get in touch with the Organisers of Virasat:
How to reach here:
Virasat comes up with a different theme every year. Scholars from many prestigious institutions are welcomed here. The fair is held at Ambedkar Ground in Kaulagarh, Dehradun. One can easily reach here, either by taking the public transport or by private vehicle.
The distance between Kaulagarh and Dehradun Clock Tower is around 6 km. Local buses and autos run to and fro from Kaulagarh to various places in Dehradun. The nearest railway station is located at a distance of 6 km. Jolly Grant airport at 33 km is the closest air connectivity from here.