Mahindra Sanatkada: Celebrating Aashiqana Lucknow

A festival of dance, drama, film, history, literature, music and cuisine. Come fall in love again with the city of Lucknow and its inimitable flavours

For over a decade, Sanatkada has been celebrating the pluralistic, inclusive and unique traditions of Lucknow using oral, visual and experiential storytelling techniques. The Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival (scheduled for February 2-6, 2024) is now a veritable institution, a highly anticipated celebration of Lucknow, playing a vital role in the city as the foremost champion of its culture. This is evidenced by its growing popularity - from a footfall in the 100s to crossing 25000 in 2022.

For 15 remarkable years, Mahindra Sanatkada has been a beacon of culture, tradition and love, weaving together the vibrancy of Lucknow's heritage. As the festival gears up for its 15th edition, it beckons visitors to immerse themselves in the essence of Aashiqana Lucknow. The much-awaited festival will host a series of performances, discussions, installations and a well-researched, experiential exhibition on this year’s theme, apart from the usual food and crafts bazaar, qissa goi (storytelling) and bait bazi sessions (a verbal game and a genre of Urdu poetry, played by composing verses of Urdu poems) that our folks have come to love and expect over the years.

Walk through a city of aashiqana tales

This endeavour has been fuelled by love in its various manifestations, serving as the driving force behind this heartfelt undertaking. Since its inception, Mahindra Sanatkada has been a celebration of the city's rich tapestry of handicrafts, art and culture, embodying the spirit of Lucknow and its people. The theme for this year's exploration, Aashiqana Lucknow, invites attendees to explore the city's soul, delving into its memories, food, art and language.

A potpourri of experiences

The festival promises a mix of experiences, from captivating performances and thought-provoking discussions to immersive exhibitions and culinary delights. Under the majestic Safed Baradari, the Weaves and Crafts Bazaar is set to showcase the craftsmanship of over 100 artisans from across the country, while heritage walks will take visitors through the homes of Lucknow, the qasbas (town) and heritage sites to unveil many more interesting and anecdotal qisse (an interesting folktale) weaved within Lucknow's architectural marvels and culinary traditions.

‘LiteraryGuftgu’, a series of theme-based talks, will delve into the living heritage and culture of the city, offering a deeper understanding of Lucknow's culture. And for food enthusiasts, the ‘Awadhi Home Cooked Food Festival’ promises a journey through the flavours of Lucknow's culinary legacy.

A journey like no other

This edition will feature an exemplary line-up of artists and performers, including Voctronica, the country's first-ever all-vocal orchestra; artists Banat and Tamara, who perform folk music fusion of western and eastern cultures; Parmesh Shahni, Naman Ahuja, Mala Sinha, Prahlad Singh Tippaniya, Kavya Saxena on a series of  theme-based talks and discussions at our ‘LiteraryGuftgu’.

With workshops, discussions, films, theatre, music, poetry, food, shopping, walks, book releases and exhibitions – this five-day community mela has grown into an experience that draws in thousands of visitors every year, both from within the city and from all over the country.

Dedicated to the memory of Late Indira Mahindra, whose passion for the arts continues to inspire us, Mahindra Sanatkada embodies her vision of bringing people together to celebrate the cultural richness of our country.

Enjoyed this story? Hit the Like button to let us know!
You can also share your thoughts in the Comments section below!