As the seat of empires for centuries, and with royalty as patrons, Delhi has long been a cultural center, attracting the best of painters, musicians and dancers. Though today's patrons have changed, Delhi is more than ever the cultural capital of the country, and is also visited by foreign dancers, musicians and theatre groups en route to the Far East.
October to March is the "cultural season" of Delhi, during which time a plethora of events take place in the fields of the visual and performing arts. The best of the performing arts representing the range of classical dance forms and schools of music from all over India can be viewed at Kamani Auditorium, the Chamber Theatre at Triveni Kala Sagam, FICCI Auditorium, the India International Center, Siri Fort, LTG Auditorium, Pragati Maidan and Sri Ram Centre, where Delhites can enjoy the privilege of seeing, and listening to, the legendary gurus as well as their disciples.
Music lovers look forward to the Shankarlal, Dhrupad and Tansen Festivals in February and March and the Vishnu Digamber Festival in August, at which India's greatest musicians perform Roshanara Festivals of music and dance organized by Delhi Tourism.
October witnesses the popular Qutub Festivals where reputed musicians and dancers offer captivating renditions with the Qutub Minar as the backdrop. Film buffs eagerly await the National Film Festivals and the bi-annual International Film Festival, held in January. Apart from commercial cinema houses, films are periodically screened at the Max Mueller Bhawan, the Alliance Francaise, the Japan Cultural Centre, the British Council Division, the Russian Centre for Science and Cultural and the Hungarian Information Centre.
Theatre in Delhi receives a constant impetus from the presence of the National School Of Drama. The variety offered ranges from Hindi translations of European plays, to regional theatre, as well as folk forms. Delhi's numerous art galleries reflect the country's burgeoning art scene. Well-known and new artists from all over the country display their works in these galleries. Notices of exhibitions are given in daily newspapers and specific city magazines.
Among the active galleries are Art Heritage, Triveni Art Gallery, Sridharani Gallery, Art Today, Vadehra Art Gallery, Eicher Gallery, Gallery 42, Dhoomi Mal Art Centre, Gallery Escape, Lalit Kala Akademi, LGT Gallery, Gallery Ganesha, Gallery steps, AIFACS, Max Mueller Photo Gallery, British Council Divisio Gallery, Gallery Romain Rolland, Khirkee Gallery, the Village Gallery and at times the American Centre.
Traditional crafts, too have long been practiced in Delhi. The city was particularly well known for its silver and gold enameling, and zari or embroidery in gold thread. Master-craftersmen in both crafts still live in the Walled City where there are also miniature painters.
Delhi also has fine potters, wooden toy makes, kite makers and lacquer craftsmen. In Old Delhi it is not unusual to come upon a traditional workshop. The wealth of Indian handicrafts can be enjoyed at the Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan, at the State Emporia on Baba Kharak singh Marg, and at Dilli Haat, which is Delhi Tourism's popular venue for crafts bazaars throughout the year.