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Captivating Yakshagana performance at the Nehru Centre

An intensely captivating Yakshagana titled Devi Mahatme-Mahisha Vadhe was presented to a fully packed auditorium at the Nehru Centre recently.

Jointly organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence and KannadigaruUK, the program encompassed powerful performances by the artists of Yakshadhruva Patla Foundation Trust which has been making efforts to preserve and promote this ancient art form in India and abroad.

Yakshagana performance at The Nehru Centre

After the traditional invocation at the beginning and opening words by the Deputy Director of TNC Sanjay Sharma, an uninterrupted rapturous 90-minute dance drama was presented that received a standing ovation at the climax.

The Himmela team (Patla Satish Shetty, Padmanabha Upadhyaya, Chaitanya Krishna Padyana) and Mummela team (Prof. ML Samaga, Chandrashekhara Poojary, Mahesha Maniyani, Prashant Shetty Nelyadi, and Mohana Bellippady) have mesmerised the audience with their high-powered performances.

Felicitation to artists by Captain Munish Chauhan of the British Armed Forces, Sushil Rapatwar of Sanskruti Centre, and Dr Lakshmi Vyas of Hindu Forum of Europe, followed by the vote of thanks by Ganapati Bhat of KannadigaruUK concluded the interesting evening. 

Deputy Director of Nehru Centre Sanjay Sharma at Yakshagana event

Post-event, Captain Chauhan opined, “The evening was nothing short of extraordinary, the musicians transported us to a different realm while the dancers conveyed the essence with grace and precision. The story of Goddess Durga’s valorous battle against Mahishasur serves as a powerful reminder of the eternal struggle between right and wrong.

It reaffirms our commitment to upholding the values of justice, courage, and righteousness in our pursuit of a better world. It resonated deeply with me as a military officer, as in the armed forces, we dedicate ourselves to safeguarding society and eliminating the forces of evil. It was a privilege to be part of this event and it has left a lasting impression on me.”

Malini in the Yakshagana
Mahishasura Mardini
Satish Shetty of Patla Foundation Trust giving concluding remarks
Vote of Thanks by Ganapati Bhat
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Maha minister Lodha to attend wife’s book launch at Nehru Centre, London

Maharshtra’s minister for Tourism, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Woman and Child Development BJP loyalist Mangal Prabhat Lodha – a reputed builder and politician will join his wife Dr Manju Lodha to launch her book ‘’Ankahin Kahaniyan’’ at the Nehru Centre, London at 6.00 pm on 4th November, reports Asian Lite’s Rahul Laud

Big wigs from trade, industry, government and Indian High Commission offices are expected to attend the launch and rub shoulders with India’s Maharashtra state minister. Director of Nehru Centre, renowned author, writer  come diplomat, First Secretary, Culture  Amish Tripathi is also expected to attend the glamorous launch.  

Manju Lodha, a writer, poet, and philanthropist is the Chairperson of the Lodha Foundation which is involved in social activities. Author of 11 books , Manju is an orator and is never short of words. She takes care of Lodha Dham – a religious complex. She is the Founder of Gyan Gangitri Kavya Manch, which is the only women’s literary organization for the development of literacy skills for housewives in Mumbai. She is running 3 libraries, which include the world’s largest religious library with over six lac religious books and one ‘Mobile’ library. She has written 11 books in all.

The book ’Ankahin Kahaniyan’’ pays homage to India’s greatest revolutionaries and freedom fighters and narrates their emotional yet inspiring stories that laid the forefront of India’s freedom and constitution. “It is about all the heroes of our country, be it soldiers, warriors, kings, and sultans, revolutionaries, freedom fighters, politicians who have led the country through very tough times and steered the country towards betterment and who are unsung ,” says Manju.

“This book is an ode to visionaries that revolutionised India through social, cultural and industrial reforms and an amalgamation of stories that have inspired me in my journey as an author, poet and philanthropist,” Manju added.. From the powerful story of Savitribai Phule that revolutionized the Indian education system, to accounts of General Tatya Tope’s rebellious victories, this book aims to inspire the youth of our nation through tales that are left untold.

Later minister Lodha will be joined in London by his core tourism team from Maharashtra – Saurabh Vyas IAS, secretary tourism; Dr B N Patil IAS Director, Directorate of Tourism and Dr Dhananjay Sawalkar, Dy Director, Directorate of Tourism Tourism who will pitch to attract tourists and trade at the World Travel Market between 7-9 November  in London.

ALSO READ: Sanskruti-Veekshanam amazes audiences at Nehru Centre

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Sanskruti-Veekshanam amazes audiences at Nehru Centre

The program highlighted 12 states and 1 Union Territory, besides highlighting the culture of the Sindhi community, a special report by Asian Lite News

An excellent program called Sanskruti-Veekshanam was organised in London to mark the landmark year of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, 75 years of Indian Independence.

Organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence at the Nehru Centre, Cultural Wing of High Commission of India, the program highlighted 12 states and 1 Union Territory, besides highlighting the culture of the Sindhi community.

Sindhi songs

More than 40 participants have performed different dances at this highly rich program to a packed auditorium, from North, South, West, East, Central, and North East regions of India making it vibrant, colorful, enjoyable and raising cross-cultural awareness- says organiser of the program Ragasudha Vinjamuri- also Founder of Sanskruti Centre.

The program opened with paying tributes to Sindhu (Indus) Valley Civilisation and with Sindhi songs by renowned singer Renu Gidoomal who set the tone for the evening, accompanied by Sunil Jadhav on the keyboard and Amritpal Dhuffer on Tabla.

Best wishes messages received from Honourable Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda and Chief Ministers of Manipur, Meghalaya, and Goa, honorable Conrad Sangma, Biren Singh, and Pramod Sawant were disseminated, who appreciated and congratulated the organisers and performers.

Sindhu Mahima

Classical dance on River Sindhu was presented by Manju Sunil, supported by Sahyog Foundation.

Performed in succession later were distinct folk and tribal dance forms of Meghalaya, Manipur, Mithila, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Telangana- some being presented for the very first time on British soil.

Cllr Sunil Chopra, Mayor of Southwark has lauded all who presented music & dance and the organisers and has spoken of his vision for the performing arts in his borough. Goan Association of UK, Haryana in UK Association, British Himachali Society, Natraj Dance Academy, Rajput Samaj of UK, Giddha dancers led by Reema Virdee, Kummi dance led by Lakshmi Aveen were all part of the 2-hour show that has immensely delighted the audiences.

Sawara Dance of Andhra & Odisha

Jhijhiya dance of Mithila was coordinated by Cllr Sharad Kumar Jha and supported by Saloni, The program was anchored by Ragasudha and Ravi Sharma of Lyca Radio, and Vote of Thanks rendered by Trustee Sushil Rapatwar,

ALSO READ: “Bouncing Back” webinar by Sanskruti Centre highlights key points

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SBI UK to present SAJDA FESTIVAL; Vocalist Gayatri Asokan to regale global audience

Sajda Festival UK is geared up to launch its season 3 on Sunday 18th July.  Presented by the State Bank of India UK with Cultural Partner Nehru Centre, London the festival is slated to present eminent artistes through the whole year and pay homage to different legends, reports  Shubhadrika Sen ( Blogger:

SAJDA FESTIVAL UK Season 3 presented by SBI UK will be inaugurated on 18th July, 2021, by Shri Amish Tripathi, storied author and Director of the Nehru Centre London, Cultural Partner of the festival.

Amish Tripathi, celebrated author and Diplomat, Director of Nehru Centre London

The Festival will be launched with a ghazal mehfil a vocal concert by multi-faceted singer Gayatri Asokan and reach out to a global audience. The Third edition will witness artistes of international repute paying homage to Bharat Ratna Awardees –Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and Satyajit Ray- while observing their centenary celebrations. A prominent line up of renowned personalities has become Patrons who have showered immense support include: Pt. Ronu Majumdar, Craig Pruess, Esme Ward, and Bhawani Singh Shekhawat. Over the years several artistes who have attached themselves to the cause of performing arts and music like Geetha Balsara, Saleel Tambe, Nihira Joshi Deshpande, Anil Kaprekar and Anandi Iyer have agreed to be volunteer ambassadors of the Season 3.

ALSO READ – Sajda Fest Presents Mohan Veena Recital to Heal Minds

Later this year Season 3 will enthral audience with the voice of Pt. Jayateerth Mevundi who will pay tribute to the Pt. Bhimsen Joshi commemorating his birth centenary.  Satyajit Ray cinema will be also showcased with talks and his world of music will be explored with a tribute to Ustad Vilayat Khan Sitarist who was his music director.

Sajda Festival
Gayatri Asokan, Vocalist par excellence

 In its SEASON 3 (2021-22) the SAJDA FESTIVAL will have a unique online and offline repertoire of Indian artistes, building and strengthening further the engagement with Indian diaspora, global artistes and upholding the tradition of keeping dying art forms alive. Following its success over the past years with events in Manchester and the official launch of Season 1 (Offline events in Manchester and London) and Season 2 (online), SAJDA FESTIVAL is geared up to launch its Season 3   with a comprehensive one-year-calendar of events. The entire festival will be offered on a complimentary basis to music lovers, like-minded individuals and corporates.

Recently the Festival hosted a Covid Relief convert and presented an instrumental session of Mohan Veena with Ananda (aka Aanand Sundaram).   

Sajda Festival
Rahul Laud, Curator and Producer, Sajda Festival

Rahul Laud, Festival Curator and Producer in a recent interview at the BBC Manchester said: “The official launch is on the 18th of July and it will be wonderful because this year we are paying tribute to none other than the shahenshah of ghazals, Mehdi Hassan. This happens to be his 94th birth anniversary and we have found a young ghazal singer from India, Gayatri Asokan, wife of the sitar maestro Purbayan Chatterjee. A very well-known playback singer, who has moved her focus to the genre of ghazals since the past five years.” Trained over the years in Carnatic, Hindustani classical music, ghazal and Thumri, Gayatri made her debut in Indian playback singing under the music direction of the great Ravindran Master. She has won many coveted awards including the Kerala Government State Award for best playback singer (2004), Amrita Film Award and World Malayalee Council Award.

SAJDA FESTIVAL UK was officially launched in 2019 with five successful events (comprising vocals, sitar, harmonica, inspirational music, photography and poetry) held in Manchester and London and a tribute to Bollywood songs of yesteryears in the city of Mumbai; followed by the online Festival last year with 4 shows (vocal, sitar, harmonica and flute). It aims to pay tribute to Unsung Heroes from different genres, dying art forms and musical instruments which are seldom played or not heard. SAJDA also offers its homage to world class artistes honouring their contribution to the musical world. The rationale is an outcome of the Indo-UK cultural year that was announced by the Prime Ministers of both nations – the UK and India – Ms Theresa May and Shri Narendra Modi respectively. Since then, the Festival has engaged with the Indian diaspora and acted as a Cultural Living Bridge between the two Nations.

The Festival has received overwhelming support from donors, sponsors, patrons and community organisations since its first edition. Eminent sponsors for the upcoming edition include Success Coach Nilesh, NRI Legal Services UK, Advance Science Technology and Management, Kolumbus and Sri Sri Tatva.

International Media like Asia Lite, Global Indian Stories, Here and Now 365 and BHF Radio have helped the Festival pick up worldwide momentum through its support. Organisations like Manchester Museum, Akshaya Patra UK, VOICE Manchester and CCITS have joined hands in promoting the cause of Indo-UK Cultural Interaction through this annual Music Festival.

The Festival strongly believes in social engagement and also donates to charitable causes.

Please visit the official Festival website for all event related updates-

ALSO READ – Asian Lite, SAJDA, IAHV join hands to save lives in India


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Saugandhikam Samskritam captivates global audiences

Presenters of Saugandhikam Samskritam ranged from Padma Shri, Presidential and Sahitya Academy awardees to Scholars, Research scholars, and enthusiasts from across four continents, a report by Asian Lite

A recent webinar highlighting the relevance, importance and beauty of the Sanskrit language has captivated audiences virtually. Titled Saugandhikam Samskritam, the event was organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence (UK), in association with The Nehru Centre (ICCR, London) and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. London.

Saugandhikam Samskritam
Amish Tripathi, Author & Director of Nehru Centre, London

Presenters ranged from Padma Shri, Presidential and Sahitya Academy awardees to Scholars, Research scholars, and enthusiasts from across four continents presenting interesting inputs and poetical inputs.

The event began with an invocation by Akash Guntiwar, faculty of Central Sanskrit University- Bhopal campus, followed by a recitation by the students of St James, London. Opening words are rendered by Amish Tripathi, Author and Director, Nehru Centre. Message by Honourable Culture Minister of India Shri Prahlad Singh Patel for the occasion was read out.

Padma Shri Chamu Krishnashastry at Saugandhikam Samskritam event

Speeches by Dr Kala Acharya, Prof. Viroopaksha V Jaddipal, Padma Shri Abhiraj Rajendra Mishra have highlighted the contemporary relevance of Sanskrit, Sanskrit as a multi-dimensional knowledge system and presence of Sanskrit in Indonesia.

Keynote by Padma Shri Chamu Krishnashastry on spoken Sanskrit and how it can be made a common man’s communication system was powerful. Dr Nandakumara provided remarks on the propagation of Sanskrit and lauded the organisers for conceiving the meaningful program.

Padma Shri Abhiraj Rajendra Mishra at Saugandhikam Samskritam event

The poetry recitation had beautiful renditions by Sushil Rapatwar (UK), Acharya Durgaprasad Pokharel (UK), Dr Suhas Mahesh (UK), Aneesh Raghavan (India), Abirlal Gangopadhyay (India), Shiva Rajeev Shrivastava (South Africa), Yuvraj Bhattarai (India), Kushagra Aniket (USA), Dr Shrinathdhar Dwivedi (India), Dr M Sudarshan Chiplunkar (India), Dr Dhananjay Mishra (India), Dr Rajkumar Mishra (India), Dr Arvind Kumar Tiwari (India), Dr Ramakrishna Pejathaya (India), Prof. Ravuri Gayatri Murali Krishna (India), Prof. Satish Kumar Kapoor (India) and Dr Tulsidas Parauha (India). The event was anchored by Ragasudha Vinjamuri, Founder of Sanskruti Centre. Backup support was provided by Radhika Joshi.

The event video can be viewed at

ALSO READ – Sanskruti Centre organises captivating webinar on Koodiyattam