If you have ever driven up Yonge Street towards Richmond Hill, you probably couldn’t help but notice the Vishnu Mandir Hindu temple and its landmark statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Alongside the temple is the unique Canadian Museum of Hindu Civilization, which is presenting an ambitious Festival of India this weekend.
The festival promises to be an authentic expression of Indian culture, with innumerable local artists performaning alongside many that are being imported from the motherland for the occasion. Sure, there will be yoga sessions and stalls selling samosas, but there will also be concerts, theatre performances, appearances by Bollywood actors, and the chance to observe temple rituals. For the more intense there will be a three-day Aryuvedic workshop as well as a one-day yoga retreat.
Events will kick off at the Hummingbird Centre on Friday night and run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the rest of the weekend at the temple site. General admission is free, but some of the events do have fees. Organizers expect up to 10,000 people a day, and while we’re not clairvoyant, we think you probably want to leave your car at home rather than trying to cram into the local Indigo parking lot. Shuttle busses will be running from several local parking lots to the site. (Viva and GO busses also run from Finch Station to a transit terminal across the street.)
Following on the heels of last week’s T.O. visit from superstar Bollywood couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya (Rai) Bachchan (their second time in town this year), this city’s looking like the place to be for lovers of all things sub-continental.
Photo by David Fleischer