Sekhawati FestivalSekhawati Festival is a three-day festival celebrating the cultural jubilation which has been taking place in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan in February every year since the last 17 years. The true rural grandeur and the deeply rooted culture of Shekhawati region get reflected on this festival through various cultural programmes. The motto of the Shekhawati Festival is mainly to pull crowd to this seemingly little-known place and creating awareness about the historical and cultural heritage that this region has been carrying since an early period.
A semi arid region with abundance of historical resources, Shekhawati is situated in the north-eastern part of Rajasthan. During the 18th and 19th century, the brave, wealthy, and culturally rich Marwari merchants established the majestic Havelis, Kothis and palace-like houses in this region. They also constructed series of temples, step wells etc ornamented by sheer artistry of colorful murals and frescos which still attract tourists. The region belongs to an arid one which may not produce a good amount of corps but it does not deter the culturally uplifted population of Shekhawati from arranging festivals like the Shehawati Festival.
The four-day cultural festival is organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Department, and M R Morarka-GDC Rural Research Foundation, Shekhawati in assistance with the District Administration of Sikar, Jhunujhunu and Churu. Though the the functions connected to the festival are held at various places around Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu, the main part of it takes place at the Surya Mandal Stadium situated at Nawalgarh. Thousands of tourists visit Shekhawati during this festival which pronounces the success of the event.
The visitors get enchanted by the rustic charm of the place and the richness of its cultural heritage. Folk songs, dance performance, haveli competitions, rural games, Camel safaris, cattle shows and fairs, food stalls and cooking competitions, arts and crafts shows, laughter shows, an organic food festival and several other activities and event are held at the festival. The participants vary from young and amateurs to the eminent and renowned coming from all over the state of Rajasthan. The tourists get a grave look at the history of this region as many exhibitions describing the role of Shekhawati region in the fight against the British reign during the freedom struggle and many more contributions the place has been volunteering since a long time.
Apart from the state department of tourism and the district administrations of Jhunjhunu, the NGO named Morarka Foundation plays an important role in arranging the Shekhawati Festival. The foundation was established by Kamal Morarka in 1993 in memory of his father late Mr. M. R. Morarka. The foundation has been working since its inception just to create a strong knowledge bank in India by establishing innovative resource management and by pulling the creative minds together from all over the country.
With sheer dedication and commitment towards its sincere goals to promote and to create cultural multifariousness and sustainable modes of agriculture the Morarka Foundation has already established itself as a stronghold in its indigenous field of work. The Shekhawait Festival is just an exemplar of its motive.
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