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Week-long Gandhara Festival 2023 begins in Taxila

WAH CANTT: The first week-long Gandhara festival commenced on Sunday (29th Jan 2023) at Gandhara Art Village near Taxila.

Ladies and gentlemen in the audience were mesmerized by Swiss Artist’s performance, Buddhist folk singers from Sindh, traditional dance by local artists to drum beats, and finally the live performance by legendary folk singer Saeen Zahoor.

Sculptors and stone carvers had also established stalls at the festival which attracted a large number of art lovers from the twin-cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The event showcased a fusion of traditional Pakistani and Swiss music, with performances by renowned artists from both countries, including Wajih Nizami, Markus Hauser, Loris Peloso.

Folk tales of Buddhism by folk Buddhist singers were also presented on the occasion.

Addressing the event, Punjab Arts Council Director General Muhammad Mehboob Alam said the promotion of culture was the top priority of the government.

He pointed out that the recent approval of the first cultural policy of Punjab was a testament to the efforts of the Punjab Arts Council.

He added that Punjab Arts Council would organize festivals on Gandhara, Harappa, Sindhi, and Hakra cultures of Cholistan.

He said that cultural fairs would also be organized in all other districts of Punjab. Two-day Gandhara festival would be held in Taxila while a five-day event would be held in Rawalpindi, he added.

Pakistan-Romania Friendship Association Chairman Zaildar Ahsan Shah said such events play a key role in promoting local art and soft image of the country in the world.

He said Taxila was blessed with more than 30 ancient cities of cultural importance, which were on UNESCO’s world cultural heritage list. Taxila could be made the hub of religious tourism and public-private partnership could play a pivotal role in that regard.

More than 20 stalls manifesting sculptured, stone carvingd, and Gandhara art have been set up by expert artisans.

Moreover, traditional food, a kids’ play area, and a book fair on Gandhara are also part of the festival that will continue till Saturday.

APP/Radio Pakistan