Banganga Festival in Maharashtra
The Banganga Festivals is one of the most renowned music festivals of Maharashtra. The festival is organized by the Indian Heritage Society and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation with an aim of encouraging tourism in Maharashtra. The festival is held every year at Malabar Hills in Mumbai and is attended by many music lovers from every corner of India.
The Banganga Festival was started and first celebrated in the year 1992, and since then there has been no looking back. The festival is an innovative way of offering tribute to the heritage music of India. This festival got its name from the gorge that rests close to Walkeshwar, namely Banganga Tank. This fortification was said to have been built by the Silhara Dynasty during the 10th Century.
Legendary tales about Banganga Tank
If the legendary tales are to be believed then the Walkeshwar Temple in South Mumbai is said to have been built by Lord Rama. It is said that Lord Rama had asked his brother, Laxman to get a Shivlinga from Benaras. But a sand Shivlinga was already used and hence placed in this temple. When while worshiping the idol, Rama got thirsty, he shot an arrow on this site and Banganga emerged. That is why the name, Ban (arrow) Ganga(holy water).
The Banganga Festival is held usually in the month of January. This festival goes on for two days. During this time, the entire area from Malabar Hill to Walkeshwar is decorated with lights and flowers. Classical Music concerts are held in the evenings throughout for two consecutive days. Many renowned classical singers and performers like Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustaad Zaakir Husain, Veena Sahasrabuddhe and many others perform in this festival. Music lovers from all over India and abroad flock here to listen to these melodious performances and to pay tribute to the enchanting, heritage music. Many famous personalities pay a visit to this place either to view or to participate in this festival. For two days the area lit up like Diwali. The other main intention for celebrating this festival is also to bring to the notice of people about the importance of conservation and maintenance of Banganga Tank.