Art and Culture of RaigarhRaigarh is known as the cultural capital of Chhattisgarh. But it wasn’t always known for its culture. It was Maharaja Chakardhar Singh of Raigarh Kingdom who had been coronated in the year 1924 and created a whole new Raigarh by stressing on the importance of the arts and music. Today Raigarh is known for Kathak dance and classical music and for producing some amazing poets and writers. Part, if not all recognition should go to Maharaja Chakardhar Singh cause without him the cultural scene wouldn’t be what it is today.
Festivals of RaigarhApart from the major festivals like Dusshera, Deepavali, Holi, Govardhan Pooja that are celebrated across India including Raigarh, there are a few others that are predominant in this district. Hariyali, Cherta and Chakradhar Samaroh are the major festivals celebrated here. Hariyali is celebrated in order to gain agricultural prosperity. The festival of Hariyali takes place in the month of ‘Shravan’. During this time farmers worship farm tools as well as cows by placing branches and leaves of the 'Bhelwa' tree in the fields and implore for a good harvest.
Neem leaves are also placed at the main entrance of the houses in order to prevent occurrence of seasonal diseases. Cherta is widely practiced amongst all communities in Raigarh. Cherta too is a harvest festival where children go around the village and collect rice from each household. The rice is then prepared on the banks of nearby water bodies by married women. The entire community then sing and dance and wait for the community feast.
Chakradhar SamarohEvery year on Ganesh Chaturthi, the festival named 'Chakradhar Samaroh' is held and musicians, dancers and other artist from all over India come here and showcase their talents. This event is organized in the memory of the Great King and Musician Maharaja Chakradhar Singh. King Chakradhar was a man of many talents. He not only was a great artist but also did great research in music. He was a great musician and dancer and invented a new dance form by collaborating in different dances.
Today Chhattisgarh Department Of Culture in coordination with district administration arranges for the most happening cultural fest. Music, Dance, Song are major events at Chakradhar Samaroh. Artists from across regional barriers take part in this fest which no doubt is one of the most prestigious cultural gatherings in India. This great cultural festival that takes place every year is a reminder of the king and his works to make the festival a great success and to honor him by creating a platform for all talented people across the nation.
Languages of RaigarhThe most common dialects spoke here are Chhattisgarhi, Oriya and Hindi. Due to Railway and industrial bloom and development we can now find a fair representation from all over India here. With the rapid growth of the industrial sector a large part of Raigarh is becoming more cosmopolitan in nature with a few tribal communities present here too. There’s a large population of Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Bihari and other communities that also live in this district. In all we can say that Raigarh reflects a beautiful blend of cosmopolitan culture where local traditional roots still holds ground.
Dokra Craft Work in RaigarhDokra casting is a famous form of crafting practiced in Raigarh and the neighboring regions of Bastar, Kondagaon and Nagarnar.The tribes in Raigarh have a close association with nature and with this inspiration they create many amazingly beautiful crafts and raw materials sourced entirely from their surrounding environment. Nature has a lot to offer and these tribes make use of it. Bell metal, brass and bronze are also used to produce dull gold figurine and other art objects.Most of the elements used to make these artifacts are purely obtained from nature.
The rawness of each element adds to the rustic appearance in the finished products. The beautiful shapes and forms of these handicrafts are a reference inside the cultural legacy of the people who make them. Each item is a reference to the local mythology, rituals, religion, and folklore in the form of exquisite shapes.
To conclude we can say that Raigarh has everything that justifies the epiphet of "Cultural Capital of Chhattigarh". Apart from home to many tourist attractions it is known several societies and other unique communities that remains untouched from modern ways and technology.