An all-night classical music festival is due to start in the Indian city of Varanasi this weekend.

Culture vultures planning on catching flights to India this weekend are in for a treat, as the annual Sankat Mochan Music Festival is due to start on Friday (April 22nd).

The festival is celebrated to mark the birth of the monkey god Hanuman and music lovers will get the chance to mingle with the friendly monkeys of the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi.

This temple is one of the most ancient in the country and performances take place all through the night until dawn.

Musicians from all over India will be arriving to perform a range of classical works, as well as putting on several dramatic pieces during the five-day event.

Plays based on such works as Saraswati, Ram, Krishnalila and Hanuman Charitra are included in this year’s programme.

Despite boasting a line-up of highly renowned maestros, the event is free, offering some of the locals, who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to attend a concert, a chance to hear some accomplished musicians.

Written by Ruth Norris

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