Dedicated to: Lord Shiva
Significance: To promote the cultural heritage of Orissa
Highlights: National Handloom Exhibition, Folk Dance Festival,
Food Festival and National Handicrafts Exhibition
Ekamra Utsav is not a single festival, but a series of festive
occasions. It is a ten day long festivity that usually takes place in
the Bhubaneswar city of Orissa. It is basically dedicated to Lord Shiva
and aims at promoting the cultural heritage of the state. Ekamra Utsav
has derived its name from the word 'Ekamra' meaning 'Mango
Tree'. There is a myth associated with the initiation of this
festival. It is said that Lord Siva was searching for a secluded place,
where he could go and meditate.
On the advice of Narada, he went to the Ekamra Kanan (forest) of India
and began meditating. It is at this place that he got settled as Lord
Lingaraj, along with His consort, Goddess Parvati. The forest was called
Ekamra Kanan (forest), owing to its extensive vegetation of mango trees.
Ekamra Utsav is actually a multi disciplinary event comprising of the
National Handloom Exhibition (consisting of fabrics gathered from the
famous textile centers of Orissa).
Its other attractions include Folk Dance Festival, Food Festival
(offering several kinds of cuisine, domestic and international both) and
National Handicrafts Exhibition. The Folk Festival consists of puppet
shows that depict scenes from Indian epics, like Ramayana and
Mahabharata. Other highlights include the distinctive forms of dance
performances like Ranpa, Ghoda Nach, Paika Akhada, Danda Nritya, Chhau,
Ghjumura, Sambalpuri Dance, etc.