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TanjavurUtsavam of Iyal, Isai and Natakam

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TanjavurUtsavam of Iyal, Isai and Natakam

Conducted by IGNCA for the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi

11 February, 2022 – 13 February, 2022

Venue: South Zone Cultural Centre

Tanjavur, a millineum old city in Tamilnadu, has been a cultural capital from the time of King VijayalayaChola (II half of 9th c), who shifted his capital from Uraiyur to this new political citadel. It was however Raja RajaChola (985c – 1014c) who became an emperor with multifaceted interests, who made the city known beyond the shores. His building the Brhadishwara temple which is now recognised as a world monument by UNESCO, was a centre for religion, philosophy, art, architecture, dance, music, drama with an unsurpassed cultural administration. The longest Tamil inscription is found in the temple giving amazing details regarding maintaining 400 dancers and about 250 musicians, with the financial commitment from the Government. Raja Raja’s acumen in administering his vast empire, through the political system of election of heads of villages, maintaining Trusts to run temples, provide an excellent irrigation system, maintain a valourous army and Navy encourage artistes and artisans, provide an education system and a well maintained tax collection are some of the factors which made the Chola rule incomparable.

Tanjavur, has the stamp of the Tamil Chola culture to this day, in spite of the rule of the Kannada vassals of Vijayanagara dynasty followed by the independent Nayak rulers of Telugu tongue and finally the descendants of Chatrapati Sivaji taking the reins, bringing in Marathi rule. Tanjavur has become an amalgam of these linguistic streams, enriching the native Tamil language and the very design for living. The harmony was of course because of the common Hindu faith, which enabled a beautiful mingling of linguistic groups with identical culture in thought, word and action.

Tanjavur festival has a vision to bring to light the kaleidoscopic cultural facets of the region through a three day festival, saluting the city and those who built and developed it through the millennia. Tanjavur is spoken as the granary of south India, rich in its agriculture, which was responsible for the arts, science and philosophy to flourish. Mother Kaveri, also called Ponni, had endowed great fertility to the region, enabling intellectual, artistic, scientific and metaphysical exercises in the region. The festival is organised by IGNCA, New Delhi. It is planned to be a corridor for scholars, artistes and the common people to take pride of this heritage.