Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, November 28
The 146th Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan will be held from December 24 to 26 at Devi Talab Mandir in Jalandhar this year. Shehnai maestro Vikas Babu, dhrupad exponent Uday Bhawalkar and renowned flautist Pt Ronu Majumdar will be a part of the 146th Harivallabh Sangeet Sameelan.
In a major break from a 145-year-old established tradition, the sammelan will be held at the Baba Harivallabh Bhawan, established on the premises of the mandir. Held on the sprawling pandals of the Shree Devi Talab Mandir since its inception, the historic sammelan’s melifluous strains have always been partook by music lovers under the open skies in the chill of December.
While the saints’ congregation under Baba Harivallabh started holding it in 1875 on the then dry grounds of the current Devi talab (pond), in subsequent years it was shifted to the mandir grounds and then to huge pandals with a capacity to seat lakhs of people. With the pandals shrinking with dwindling audience in the past few years, the decision of hosting the sammelan in the hall has been taken by the committee this year. With the Covid pandemic and the live telecast of the event on TV and YouTube, there has been a marked decrease in visitors’ footfall. Committee members said all requisite arrangements and traditional seating pattern will be replicated in the hall to ensure there was no change in the ambience of the festival.
The sammelan has religiously been held by the committee even during the Covid pandemic. President of the Shree Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Mahasabha, Purnima Beri, said: “For now, we have decided to host the event at the Shree Baba Harivallabh Bhawan. Sound proofing of the bhawan is being done and green rooms are also being made for artistes. Depending upon the success of the sammeelan and the footfall, a decision regarding the future will be taken. The bhawan is big in size and will have seating arrangements akin to those being made in the pandal. The audience will continue sitting on the floor.”
A havan will be held on the samadhi of Baba Harivallabh on December 23 at 9.30 am and the sameelan itself will start on December 24. The decision regarding the same was taken at a recent meeting of the Harivallabh Sangeet Mahasabha, which was attended by president Purnima Beri, general secretary Deepak Bali, Arun Mishra, Beas Kalyan Singh, Nitin Kapoor, Jagmohan Singh Uppal, Gurmeet Singh, Ashu Singla, Ramesh Moudgil, Madan Rana, Kulwinder Deep Kaur, Neelam Seen, among others.
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