A three-day festival displaying the grandeur of the Dogra culture started here on Saturday with the erstwhile royal family assuring visitors an opportunity to view the only ‘Nal-Damyanti’ painting collection.
Karan Singh, a veteran Congress leader and son of the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, inaugurated the ‘Tawi Festival’ at the Hari Niwas palace and told a gathering about the richness of Dogra tradition, and the role of festivals in preserving and promoting culture.
He said for the first time in the history of Jammu, a ‘Kavi Sammelan’ is being organised along the Tawi river.
“My daughter Dr Jyotsna Singh has arranged everything here to make the festival a platform for sharing cultural knowledge and information besides providing a bunch of cultural programmes for entertainment,” Karan Singh said.
The festival’s organisers said arrangements have been made to hold musical programmes, besides giving people the opportunity to know about Dogra cuisine and traditional dresses.
“Not only this, visitors will get an opportunity to view the only Nal-Damyanti painting collection that is available nowhere in the world except here (at the palace). Moreover, there is also a big library here which contains a rare collection of books on every subject especially pertaining to culture, history and religion,” a spokesperson for the organisers said.
Jyotsna Singh, who is the director of the Amar Mahal Museum and Library, said the purpose of holding the three-day Tawi festival is to revive the rich traditions and culture of the Jammu region.
She said that visitors will enjoy a guided walk through the Nala-Damayanti Painting Gallery at the Darbar Hall.
Jyotsna Singh said other attractions at the festival include demonstration and display of Basohli and Kangra miniature paintings from the Basohli Atelier by Sohan Bilawaria and his students, and representing the ‘Guru Shishya Parampara’ with active support of the Hari Tara Charitable Trust.
During an exhibition, INTACH’s Jammu Chapter displayed the project report, vision documents, brochures, documentations of wall paintings of built heritage, literature and heritage education in the Tawi festival as a part heritage awareness programme.