Bolava Vitthal Abhangwani Concert Celebrates Ashadi Ekadashi With Pan-Indian Tour
MUMBAI: For the past 16 years, Pancham Nishad, an organization established to preserve, promote and popularize the rich cultural heritage of performing arts in India, has celebrated Ashadi Ekadashi by organizing pan-Indian concerts of ‘Abhangwani’, titled ‘ Bolava Vithal’. It is considered the magnum opus event of devotional music in India; this multi-city musical extravaganza has been a huge hit over the years and has received unprecedented love from music lovers nationwide.
Also this year, Pancham Nishad plans to celebrate Ashadi Ekadashi by hosting Bolava Vitthal in nine cities across India. The “Wari” begins on July 1 in Bangalore and ends on July 24 in Mangalore. Between these two shows, Bolava Vitthal will also be held in Hyderabad, Indore, Chennai, Pune, Nashik, Mumbai and Jaipur.
Well-known classical and semi-classical musicians like Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, Jayateerth Mevundi, Venkatesh Kumar, Devaki Pandit, Anand Bhate, Ranjani-Gayatri, Sangita Katti and Aarya Ambekar feature in the list of decorated artists this year. They will be seen rendering abhangs (devotional poetry sung in praise of the Almighty) written by saints like Namdeo, Tukaram, Dyaneshwar and Bahinabai, among others, from Maharashtra and Karnataka dating back to the 12th century.
Shashi Vyas, Director of Pancham Nishad Creatives, says, “Each year we celebrate Ashadi Ekadashi with the Bolava Vitthal concert to offer our humble prayers to Lord Vitthal. Many segments of Indian classical music are deeply connected with folk tunes and abhangs dedicated to Lord Vitthal. Traveling to so many cities with Bolava Vitthal is also an effort to bring Indian youth closer to our traditional values and philosophy of life visualized by our great poet saints.
“Over the past 17 years, Pancham Nishad has experienced multiple growth. The way Warkaris (devotees who travel on foot to worship Lord Panduranga) travel to Pandharpur for darshan of Lord Panduranga, music lovers are drawn to Bolava Vitthal in the same way every year. It is a great achievement and a mark of success for the event. I’ll be playing the event after almost a decade, and I’m really excited. For artists like me, being part of an event like this is like experiencing the grace of Vithu Mauli. Pancham Nishad has constantly evolved and improved the quality of content year after year. For me, Bolava Vitthal’s audience is like Panduranga.
Ranjani and Gayatri
“It is a pleasure to be part of the Bolava Vitthal concert series presented by Pancham Nishad. We will be performing as part of this festival in Chennai and Jaipur. powerful way in which bhakti, classical music and emotion come together in Abhangs, as Gajar or energy-filled group singing by all musicians gives way to soaring solo recitals, makes this format a highly engaging and exciting format for musicians and music lovers.Manjira, tabla and pakhawaj/mridangam rhythms, and the sound of harmoniums and tanpuras blend together to create that unmistakable authentic feel of Abhang Vani filled with devotion and unadulterated melody.
“This year I will be performing in Bengaluru Hyderabad and Mangalore. What’s special for me this year is that after a long break, I’m performing in these cities. During the pandemic, I missed the audience, their energy and their love for music, and for an artist, that’s what makes any concert successful. I hope we will never be separated again. Live concerts provide a unique experience every time.
“The Bolava Vitthal concert is popular to celebrate Ashadi Ekadashi, which will be held in July. People look forward to this concert every year. This year, for the first time, Bolava Vitthal will be held in Jaipur, where I will perform. I’m very excited about this. I will perform some of my new compositions as well as old and famous Abhangs. The Covid-19 phase has been very hard for everyone. Through the Bolava Vitthal concert, we can worship God through Abhangs and we can also connect with the audience. I am honored and grateful to Shashi Vyas ji for leading Bolava Vitthal.
Pancham Nishad has been instrumental in promoting and popularizing the Abhang tradition throughout India. Playing Bolava Vitthal is like a divine connection with the lord and the audience. I will present various abhang made popular by my Guru, Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi ji. Also, I plan to feature one or two abhangs that I sang in the recently released movie, Panghrun”
I like to pay my respects to Lord Vitthal and this concert is all about creating the magic of bhakti. After the pandemic, I feel honored to have the opportunity to star in this series.
First of all, my sincere and respectable gratitude to Pancham Nishad for inviting me to play the prestigious Divine Musical Journey – ‘Bolava Vitthala’ again this year. This is my GuruKrupa and thanks to Pancham Nishad. The blissful stay has always been the greatest experience for a commoner too and this year is very special since post-pandemic, where every ordinary man gathers in large numbers and can participate in the stay with his greatest personified devotion, In short, Bolava Vitthal heals himself, conjures away all worries and dispels the mist… Pundareeka Varade… Hari Vitthala.
Tickets for Bolava Vitthal are available at www.bookmyshow.com