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Cultural fests at the Top IITs!

Cultural fests provide an occasion for almost all colleges across the country to celebrate cultural expressions like music, dance, art and literature through a multitude of exciting events, educational workshops, lectures and mesmerising professional shows. Among all such fests hosted throughout India, those belonging to the IITs stand out, due to its huge cultural and demographic diversity which encompasses students and faculty from all parts of India. Each year, cultural fests organised by the IITs keep scaling newer and better heights – even at the international level. Let us take a quick peek at some of the major cultural festivals hosted by the IITs:

Mood Indigo – IIT Bombay

No list on the cultural fests conducted in IITs would be complete without mentioning the Mood Indigo (popularly called MoodI), which is dubbed as Asia’s largest college cultural extravaganza. Having attracted more than one lakh visitors from more than 1600 colleges across the country, MoodI 2016 experienced a conglomeration of more than 220 events across diverse genres – music, dance, arts, literature and drama. Set in December 2016, the biggest attraction in the latest edition was the concert by Shankar Ehsaan Loy and various interactive sessions with eminent personalities like Devendra Fadnavis and Arnab Goswami, to name a few.

Rendezvous – IIT Delhi

With Rendezvous ’16 being nothing less than a huge hit across India, the four-day spectacle is set for its newest edition in October 2017. The latest rendition was the biggest ever with a footfall of more than 70,000 and about 40 lakh rupees set as prize money for more than 250 events spread all over the campus. With special nights set aside for different genres of music – rock, classical and EDM – the celebrity quotient of Rendezvous is very high, having witnessed fantastic performances from Arijit Singh, Kailash Kher, Parikrama the band and the like over the years.

Saarang – IIT Madras

Established in 1996, Saarang has never failed to live up to expectations. The fest extends for 5 days in the scenic IIT Madras campus, attracting a footfall of more than 60,000 every year. With 60+ events being conducted throughout the fest, one of the major attractions of Saarang is its international reach. Saarang has been attracting talented individuals and bands at a global level, like Baba Dochia (an electronic band hailing from Romania), the Nini Brothers (a dance duo from Denmark) and Blessing Chimanga (a multi-talented musician from Zimbabwe). The fact that this is in addition to popular concerts from the likes of Vishal Dadlani and Sonu Nigam only adds to the fervour.

Spring Fest – IIT Kharagpur

Like the name suggests, Spring Fest is often conducted in January, the spring semester in India. Since IIT Kharagpur was the first IIT to be set up, it is only incidental that Spring Fest’s roots go back as early as 1960. It is indeed true to say that the fest has grown by leaps and bounds, with registrations going up as high as 50,000 and the prize money provided touching almost 30 lakhs consistently. Spring Fest never fails to attract major personalities and artists as guests from India and abroad, with Rakesh Bedi, Makrand Deshpande, Dr Kumar Vishwas, Kailash Kher, Farhan Akhtar, and Shankar Mahadevan being the most notable in the long list.

Antaragni – IIT Kanpur

Antaragni ’16 was conducted in October 2016, and attracted a footfall of more than 40,000 from more than 300 colleges and took part in 60+ events, making it a huge success in the process. The pro-nites are the major indicators of the glamour of the event with the likes of Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Sekhar and Sonu Nigam rocking the stage. The followers of EDM music and fusion music are also not left disappointed with 2 nights of the 4-day extravaganza set aside especially for those music genres. Recently, Antaragni hit headlines by bringing the iconic foreign band Poets of the Fall to perform at IIT Kanpur. Also notable among the happenings is the huge number of intellectuals addressing the crowd, including Markandeya Katju, Naseeruddin Shah and Brinda Karat.

Thomso – IIT Roorkee

IIT Roorkee attributes the name of its cultural fest to that of its founder, Sir James Thomson, the lieutenant governor in India when it was established. After witnessing the humongous success of the fest, the government of Uttarakhand heaped praise on it and termed it the ‘annual youth festival of Uttarakhand’. Recording a footfall of 40000 it is easily the largest cultural festival in northern India. With Thomso ’17 to be held in October 2017, a major attraction of is the various social initiatives it supports – blood donation drives, plantations, cloth donations and educating children, to name a few. With more than 60 events encompassing cinema, personality, music, choreo and dramatics, it has charmed students from more than 200 colleges across the country on multiple occasions.

Alcheringa – IIT Guwahati

Towards the end of January every year, thousands of students all across India flock towards Assam to be a part of the biggest cultural fest of the North-East – Alcheringa, hosted by the serene and scenic IIT Guwahati. The recently concluded 20th edition of the fest registered an all-time high 1.5 lakhs, with people representing more than 450 colleges participating and competing in more than 80 events across a span of 3 days and 4 nights. It also boasts of India’s most popular rock music contest – the Rock-o-Phonix. Another huge attraction of Alcheringa is the IITG MUN (Model United Nations) which brings talented debaters from all parts of the country. It exactly mimics proceedings as in the actual UN Assembly and intense international relations are discussed, debated and simulated in the event. A number of social upliftment programs like educational workshops for the underprivileged also falls under the vast umbrage of Alcheringa.

Alma Fiesta – IIT Bhubaneshwar

One among the most recently inaugurated cultural fests, Alma Fiesta is usually conducted in the second week of January every year. Flagged off in 2010 by Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Orissa, Alma Fiesta consistently enthrals the multitudes that attend it, with the first edition itself being heralded as ‘The Biggest Debutant Fest in India’. With 150+ colleges and 20,000+ footfall, it is safe to say that it has already left an indelible mark on the youth of the country. In the past, popular bands like Agnee, Bandish and Kryptos and celebrities like Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Dr Kumar Vishwas have bathed in the essence of the fest. The recently concluded Alma Fiesta was sparked by the soothing performance of Debanjan Bhattacharjee, the President’s Gold Medal award winner on his sarod on an inaugural night. This gave way to the performance of a very popular music group, The Local Train on the third night of the fest as well.

Blithchron – IIT Gandhinagar

Blithchron is one of the most exhilarating fests in India, as it provides one with ample doses of fun, music and entertainment in a short time interval of 2 days. The name of the fest is derived from the words ‘Blithe’ and ‘Chronos’, together meaning “time of festivity”. Kickstarted by the maiden batch from IITGN, it has experienced an exponential rise in footfall from a mere 1000 to more than 25000 in a span of just 7 years. It is often conducted in the second week of February every year. Recently, it has improved its popularity by fielding eminent bands like Agnee as well as youth sensations like Coke Studio, Lagori and the DJ Nucleya.

Elan – IIT Hyderabad

Since its inception in 2009, Elan has left a special memory in the hearts of every participant, organizer and visitor alike. With events mainly falling into four verticals – Cultural, Technical, Informals and Literary, Elan is a one-of-a-kind techno-cultural fests in the country. Visitors are often mesmerised by the efficient fusion of art, culture and technology on display in the college. The fest often spans two days in the second week of January. Besides the events, workshops and lectures, Elan has also staged excellent pro shows of the likes of Benny Dayal and VJ Nikhil Chinappa. Performances from Mindshift (Sweden) and Echo and Tito (Israel) also did not fail to leave the audience dumbstruck.

With such amazing lineup during these cultural fests and the multitude of cultural events taking place in these prestigious seats of higher education, cultural extravaganzas like these are indeed hard to miss. Let us hope that being part of all the entertainment, gaining useful contacts throughout and developing efficient man management skills to properly conduct events would be considered an extra incentive for JEE aspirants to try harder to get admits into the IITs.

That’s all on cultural fests for now. Keep reading Toppr Bytes regularly for updates and news. All the very best!

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