Kathmandu, Dec 9: The inaugural India-Nepal Cultural Festival concluded in Lumbini showcasing the rich cultural heritage and traditions of India and Nepal, with a focus on Buddhism.
The festival held on Friday featured Sand Mandala Drawing Art Exhibition prepared by monk artists from Hemis Monastery in Ladakh, India, photo exhibition based on the photographs of renowned photographer Benoy Behl, a Street Food Festival featuring Indian and Nepali cuisines, and a cultural programme.
The festival was hosted by the Embassy of India in Nepal in collaboration with Lumbini Development Trust and Lumbini Buddhist University. Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Sudan Kirati, Chief Minister of Lumbini Province Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary and Ambassador of India to Nepal Naveen Srivastava jointly inaugurated the festival,
A photo exhibition, which featured collection of stunning photographs of Buddhist heritage sites was also held. The exhibition provided a comprehensive perspective of the monuments and art heritage of Buddhism, from the earliest times to the present day.
The Sand Mandala art exhibition showcased the skills and craftsmanship of the monk artists from Hemis Monastery, Ladakh, India. Sand mandala drawing is a traditional Buddhist art form that involves creating intricate designs using coloured sand.
Later in the evening, a vibrant cultural programme featuring performances by artists from India and Nepal was also held. On the occasion Cham Dance was performed by artists from Thiksey Monastery, Leh, India, Bharatnatyam put together by Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre of the Embassy, Tharu Dance by local artists from Lumbini and Sitar recital by Sukarma Band of Nepal was also presented.
The Cultural program was followed by the Street Food Festival at Lumbini World Peace and Harmony Visitor Center. The festival showcased the rich variety of Indian and Nepali cuisine, including Pakora, Tharu style Taruwa, Sabudana Wada, Newari style lentils Bara, Jalebi, and many more delicacies.
Earlier in the morning, as part of the Festival, an Academic Seminar titled “Exploring Impact of Buddhist Teachings on Community Development and Global Well-being” was also organized at Lumbini Buddhist University. Eminent Buddhist scholars from India and Nepal participated in the seminar and shared their insights on the relevance of Buddhist teachings in the modern world.
The festival also highlighted the strong cultural and historical ties between the two countries. The Festival will now be organized annually in Lumbini to help bring together people from India and Nepal to celebrate shared heritage, traditions and culture, according to the organisers.
Meanwhile, the sand mandala art exhibition and the photo exhibition will remain open for the visitors today as well.(RSS)