Harshdeep Kaur, Kumud Diwan among Singers on Second Day of Bhakti Sangeet Festival

From Meera and Radha’s bhajans dedicated to Lord Krishna to the mellifluous Sufi songs from the hinterland of Punjab; the second day of the Bhakti Sangeet Festival had much to offer to the audience of devotional music lovers in the capital.

The three-day festival being held at Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri, is presented by Sahitya Kala Parishad and Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Govt of Delhi.

The evening started with semi-classical vocalist Kumud Diwan’s presentation of Radha Bhajans that struck an instant chord with the listeners; followed by a performance by Shubha Joshi who brought alive India’s folk traditions of Bhakti music including the Abhang bhakti singing tradition from Maharashtra. Hindustani classical vocalist Nitin Sharma rendered the harmonious bhajans of saints Meera and Soordas.

The day ended with popular singer Harshdeep Kaur enamoring the audience with mellifluous and moving Punjabi Sufi songs.

From times immemorial, poetry and music have been used by numerous saints, sufis and enlightenment seekers as a vehicle of expression of their love for the Creator. India has been a home to a stupendously multiple traditions of devotional music, from popular bhajans that are sung everyday inside homes and temples to devotional folk music perfected by bhakti saints, to the heart rending vocals of qawwalis played at dargahs.

The annual Bhakti Sangeet Festival has brought together 11 singers from different genres of devotional music to perform over three days at the unique platform that serves to unify the multiple traditions of Indian devotional music into a singular tradition.

“Be it in any form, devotional music never fails to strike a chord in the hearts of people who have this quest to connect to the Ultimate Reality. In different cultures and languages, people develop and nurture their own devotional traditions. Expressions of love and devotion when combined with the magic of music tend to magnify this intangible impact on the human consciousness. In a way devotional music speaks through a universal language. This is why we are easily moved by all forms of it, no matter which language we speak or which culture we adhere to. It is a pleasure to perform at the Bhakti Sangeet Festival for a crowd of discerning bhakti lovers,” says veteran Hindustani classical singer Pt.Chhannulal Mishra, whose performance will end the three-day festival.

“The sheer variety of devotional music traditions in India is breathtaking. Every language, every culture, every folk tradition has its own way of appealing to the Almighty and connecting people through the message of love and humanity. The Bhakti Sangeet festival is a unique platform that brings together people from different genres of music and unites them by their love for the devotional music,” says leading singer Anuradha Paudwal, who will open the festival with her renditions of popular bhajans.

The last evening will have Uday Bhawalkar perform one of the most ancient styles of Hindustani classic music, the Dhrupad; Dr Shobha Raju render Ram bhakti bhajans and Pt. Chhannulal Mishra recite from the Ram Charit Manas.

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