The fifth edition of the International Ramayana Festival is set to begin here from September 17.
Organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Research (ICCR), the event will see participation by groups from eight countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Home Minister Amit Shah will inaugurate the three-day festival here on September 17, ICCR President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said here on Friday.
After the national capital, the festival will be held in Lucknow between September 20-22 and in Pune on September 21. It will also travel to the city of Ayodhya.
He said cultural groups from eight nations including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will stage musicals and plays based on the epic in New Delhi, Lucknow and Pune.
The purpose of the festival, organised by ICCR is to explore cultural diplomacy through the Hindu epic, which is popular in several countries.
"The festival is part of ICCR's initiative to foster global cultural pluralism by facilitating cultural exchange between international artists participating in the festival and is a perfect gateway for Indian culture to experience it live," he said while announcing the details of the festival.
Throughout the festival, artists showcase cultural interpretation of the epic on the stage every night and provide an opportunity to witness different versions of the epic, he said.
To a question, whether the foreign artists would visit Ram temple in Ayodhya, Sahasrabuddhe said, "it is obvious".
The first International Ramayana festival was organised in Delhi in 2015 and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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