The Mussoorie Mountain Festival was founded in 2005 by Stephen Alter in conjunction with Mussoorie Writers. It was initially established with the aim of celebrating Mussoorie’ s Literary Heritage. It has since redefined itself to become a broader Mountain Festival at the heart of which is a community celebration of Himalayan culture, natural history and exploration.
In 2017, the Hanifl Centre took on the curation of the Festival under K. Krishnan Kutty and Renu Oberoi (Assistant Director of the Festival). “Conservation” as it relates to the Himalaya was the theme and distinguished authors, photographers, filmmakers, mountaineers and conservationists came together for panel discussions, story sharing and open dialogue on topics related to the theme.
The 2018 Mussoorie Mountain Festival looks at the Culture and Heritage of the Himalaya through the prism of ancient Indian aesthetic philosophy - Navarasa, which means Nine Emotions in which Nava signifies nine and Rasa signifies Emotions. The nine rasas of ancient Indian philosophy being: shringara (beauty, love), karuna (compassion), adbhuta (awe, wonderment), shant (peace, equanimity), hasya (laughter, mirth), veer (valour, heroism), bhaya (fear), vibhatsa (disgust) and raudra (anger, fury).
Presentations are arrayed to portray the Navarasa’s through subjects like folklore, life of the intrepid Sherpas, the superhuman effort of mapping the Indian subcontinent, indigenous architecture, conservation efforts in the cold desert town of Leh, traditional drumming from Manipur, traditional medicine, disappearing languages, poetry, Woodstock students' snow camping expedition experiences, the power of roaring Himalayan rivers, arts and crafts, as well as laughter-the best medicine.
This festival has been programmed in collaboration with Art Conservationist, Anupam Sah
SPEAKERS AT MMF'18
Chhemet Rigzin and Stanzin Chokdup
Dhruv Chandra Sud
Dr. Tenzin Lhanzey
About Pung Cholom
Download Festival Schedule
4:30 pm - Festival opening at Parker Hall followed by screening of film Land of The Gods (Dev Bhoomi) (Serbia /92 mins/ 2016) Directed by Goran Paskaljević. A visually stunning fable set in a remote Himalayan village, where the return of a native who has been wandering for 40 years (Victor Banerjee) stirs dark memories and old grudges. Followed by a Q & A with Victor Banerjee and Goran Paskaljević.
6:30 pm - Inauguration of exhibition at Lyons Lounge: THE CARING PATH to Conserving Art - A curated display explaining the nuances of art conservation through the medium of objects, illustrated text panels, and replicas of artworks that span a period from the Indus Valley Civilization to contemporary times. The exhibition and display are supported by ConservArte: Citi-CSMVS Art Conservation Project.
6:45 pm – Dinner – Quad dining room.
8:30 am - Welcome: K. Krishnan Kutty, Festival Director.
8:35 am- Opening remarks: Dr. Jonathan Long, Principal Woodstock School.
8:45 am- Introduction & presentation of the “Navarasa” theme in context of the Himalaya by Anupam Sah. Using images of the arts of the Himalaya, Anupam will illustrate the meaning of Navarasa, the nine emotions.
9:30 am- Felicitation of Pertemba Sherpa.
9:45 am- Life of a Sherpa - Pertemba Sherpa. Pertemba’s talk will focus on his life as a Sherpa, living and working in the shadow of Mt. Everest. At the age of 11 he began working as a kitchen helper for mountaineering expeditions and over the years, became a very successful mountaineer and received multiple awards from the Government of Nepal.
10:30 am- TEA BREAK – Flagpole area
11:00 am - The Great Arc - Mapping the Indian Subcontinent – John Keay. Author, John Keay will speak on the work of the Great Trigonometrical survey and its nineteenth-century measurement of the Himalayas as featured in his best-selling book The Great Arc.
11:45 am- Zorig Chusum – 13 Traditional Arts from Bhutan - Tshewang Peldon. The Institute of Zorig Chosum in Thimpu is the premier institution of traditional arts and crafts set up by the Government of Bhutan with the sole objective of preserving the rich culture and tradition of Bhutan and training students in all traditional art forms. Tshewang Peldon, Director of the Centre will talk about the institution and its activities.
12:30 pm- LUNCH – Quad dining room.
1:00 - 1:45pm - Pung Cholom – Traditional drum dance from Manipur (Quad area) The dance involves highly skilled acrobatic and graceful body movements. The complex acrobatic feats involving jumps and leaps to the changing rhythms has been ingenuously incorporated from Manipur’s famed martial art form ‘Thang Ta’ and ‘Sarit sarak’.
1:55 pm -Handmade Architecture: Living, Learning & Building in the Lower Himalayas – Dhruv Chandra Sud. Dhruv’s session will focus on building with natural materials in the Himalaya.
2:40 pm- Old Town of Leh: Restoration & Revival – Monisha Ahmed. The old town of Leh was once a rich urban environment of old houses, temples and winding alleyways. Located in the high Himalayas, for centuries it played a prominent role in the cultural, political and trade relations of the region. Today, it is threatened by decay and redevelopment. This presentation will look at its development and importance in the western Himalayas, its gradual decline and efforts being made to restore and reuse its spaces.
3:25 pm - Traditional Tibetan Medicine - Dr. Tenzin Lhanzey. An integral part of Tibetan culture has been their traditional medical system developed over centuries. Tibetan medicine (Sowa Rigpa) is based on the theory of 5 elements and 3 principle energies while love & compassion are primary ethics for the Tibetan doctor.
4:10 pm - Tea - Quad dining room. End of Day 2.
9:30 am - Sound, Music & Nada: Making Sense of Himalayan Drumming - Dr. Andrew Alter. In this talk, Dr. Alter will weave together stories about drummers and their craft to explain how drumming is sound knowledge. Hearing drums from a distant mountain ridge we listen to make sense of what it means. Is it a wedding party moving along a ridge? Is someone celebrating a festival at the local temple? Is there someone dancing?
10:15 am- Vanishing Himalayan Languages – Dr. Shekhar Pathak. Dr. Pathak will be in conversation and discuss the history of languages and how Indian languages have been surveyed. He will talk about the Himalayan languages in danger of being lost forever, the UNESCO report, and the importance of language, folklore, oral traditions and scripts.
11:00 am- Book launch: Submerged Tehri; The Last Poems – A bilingual edition, translated by staff of the Landour Language School. A new bilingual edition of Hemchandra Saklani’s Hindi and Garhwali anthology Doobti Tehri ki Aakhri Kavitaiyen. The anthology memorializes the royal capital of Tehri, which was submerged under the reservoir created by the Tehri Dam. A few of the poems will be read in both Hindi and English, and a few poets and translators will be facilitated.
11:15 am- TEA BREAK – Flagpole area.
11:30 am - How the Best Prepare for the Worst - Live demonstration: First Aid Scenario at Flag Pole area – Hanifl staff.
12:30 pm - LUNCH – Quad dining room.
1:30 pm - The Third Pole: Himalayan Glaciers, Wetlands and Rivers - Stephen Alter. Exploring the cultural and ecological landscapes of Himalayan glaciers, wetlands and rivers this presentation touches on aspects of nature’s fury and our disgust over the way in which these resources are abused.
2:15 pm - Of Camps and Shooting Boxes: Dehra and Mussoorie – Lokesh Ohri. The talk will focus on the origins of Dehra Dun and Mussoorie, the interesting historic characters that lived here and why we should know about them. The talk will also focus on the region's significance for early exploration of the Himalayas and how the work of people like Dietrich Brandis, George Everest, Nain Singh added to our knowledge of the sub-continent.
3:00 pm - TEA BREAK - Flagpole area.
3:15 pm - Snow Camping Expedition: Presentation by Woodstock Students.
4:00 pm - Festival concludes.
EXHIBITION in Lyons Lounge - March 15 - 17 | 9:00am - 4:00 pm
The CARING PATH to Conserving Art - A curated display explaining the nuances of art conservation through the medium of objects, illustrated text panels, and replicas of artworks that span a period from the Indus Valley Civilization to contemporary times. The exhibition and display are supported by ConservArte: Citi-CSMVS Art Conservation Project.
LIVE SCULPTURE MAKING DEMONSTRATION - March 16 & 17 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
By master sculptor Chhemet Rigzin & son Stanzin Chokdup from Ladakh..
For Middle Years & Early Years Students at Woodstock School:
- Folk Tales from Sikkim by Minket Lepcha
- Reading and interactive session with Stephen Alter based on his book The Cloudfarers
Do you like to hike, explore the mountains,
Are you in love with the Himalaya
If yes! Then, Join us from March 15th to 17th for Mussoorie Mountain Festival by Hanifl Centre at Woodstock School, Mussoorie
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