About Visakhapatnam Culture and Festivals
Visakhapatnam, located in the Andhra Pradesh state in India is basically an important industrial hub in the coastal region and is the state’s 2nd largest city. However, the economic development of the city did not make the locals lose their traditional character and culture. This city has got a rich cultural heritage. Many festivals are held in the state so as to showcase this culture of the district cum city.
Characterized by enthusiasm, vibrancy, rituals and feasts, these festivals of Visakhapatnam even contribute in bringing forward the city’s cultural scene. Apart from that, numerous fairs are held there, which display the different specialties of the city as well as the state in terms of art and crafts. Various kinds of cultural programs are another way of reflecting the region’s cultural richness. One of the well known examples of this is the local Dhimsa dance by the hill tribes. The different tribal communities even play musical instruments like Dappu, Mori and Thuduma. They are proud of wearing traditional costumes as well.
Different Festivals in Visakhapatnam
This city celebrates almost every festival. The period in between the months of November and January is said to be the festive season in Visakhapatnam, when a number of exciting things takes place in the city. Starting with the Diwali Festival in the 1st half of the November month, the season of festivals generally ends by the mid January with the 3 day harvest festival of Sankranthi. Among the numerous festivals, following are some of the most famous Visakhapatnam festivals:
|Chandanotsavam: Even known as the Chandana Yatra, this is among the famous Visakhapatnam festivals. Organized during the months of March and April, this annual festival is held at Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Temple in Simhachalam. The idol in the temple is kept covered with sandal paste throughout the year. This Chandana Yatra Festival marks the ceremonial detachment of the layer of sandal paste and the covering of the image with a fresh sandal paste layer. On this day of Chandana Yatra, devotees can see the original appearance of the idol of God once the layer of sandal paste, which becomes a big sheet, is detached.|
|I. S. K. O. N. Utsav: This grand festival is named after I. S. K. O. N. or International Society for Krishna Consciousness as this is held to promote the culture of India and creating the awareness regarding the activities of I. S. K. O. N. This festival is generally held during the Dassera holidays. The fair like atmosphere of the festival includes many stalls displaying some spiritual articles, indigenous products as well as commercial items of the companies participating in it. Apart from that, several food stalls row the area along with a Giant Wheel of the Merry-Go-Round and different other children games. Held for 3 long days, this festival conducts Bhajans and Gita Path. Being a religious festival, I. S. K. O. N. Utsav reflects the culture of the place as well. Various dance dramas of international standard are held on Krishna leela, Ram leela and many more. The cultural programs even include performances on devotional songs, classical songs and folk dances. The Dassera Day is marked with the burning of a 50 ft. high image of Ravana, the king of demons. A person enacts as Lord Rama and shoots a flaming arrow on the Ravana’s image. Post that, the Ram leela is performed.|
|Lumbini Festival: The city has got many sites related to the Buddhist religion in and around it. Thus, the regional Government conducts this festival so as to honor Buddhism. This is one of the vivacious and multicolored festivals in the city. Starting from the 2nd Friday in the month of December every year, this festival continues for 3 days. During this time, all of those Buddhist sites are decorated. Special tours to those sites are even conducted for the tourists as well as locals. Solemnized with mirthfulness and superiority, this Buddhist festival is among the popular most festivals in Visakhapatnam. Besides the Buddhist paintings that are among the major attractions, this festival showcases the age old culture of the Buddhist civilization. Organized by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, this festival even provides a platform to the native sculptors and painters to uphold their works of art.|
|Music Festival: Based on the songs as well as music of traditional type, Visakhapatnam Music Festival is one of the renowned cultural festivals in the city. Apart from traditional music, food and varied other community activities form the major attractions of this festival. Celebrated for just 2 days, this festival even includes the Pythian Games.|
|Navy Day: Being the location of the Eastern Naval Command’s Head Quarters, the city is home to a number of Navy offices. As a part of the annual celebrations, this Indian Navy celebrates the day with great honor. Their glory gets reflected by the exhibition of the different weapons, guns, white troops, ships etc. of the Indian Navy. A parade along with many other events is held by the Eastern Naval Command. As called by them, Navy Day is a day of charm, especially in the Beach Road. Thousands of people gather there to see the navy ships and other naval artifacts.|
|Visakha Utsav: Organized every year by the department of tourism of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, this festival is among the specialties of the city. This rejuvenates the spirit of festivity among the inhabitants of the city as well as the state and brings them to life. This festival is not limited solely to the city of Visakhapatnam, it even includes the entire state of Andhra Pradesh. People from every corner of the state gather in the festival venue in the city to celebrate the occasion. This festival is celebrated during the month of January. To be precise, the 3rd Friday of this month is marked for the starting of the Visakha Utsav. This 3 day long festival ends on the following Sunday. Featured with euphoric celebrations, this festival showcases the cultural heritage of the district. Fair and varied types of cultural programs are organized during that period. Food fair is one of the major attractions of this festival since it reflects the culinary style of the city. Food lovers are found to cherish the different delicacies of the place. Apart from these innumerable options for sports events, fashion shows and exhibitions are provided by the festival authority. Thus, celebrated with great joy and pomp, this festival reflects the vibrancy and spirit of the region.|
|Dhimsa : The Dhimsa is an exceptional dance achieved by the hill tribes of Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam Area. About 15 to 20 women attired in emblematic ethnic dresses and stuffs, dance to the beat of gadgets like Mori, Thudum and Dappu, frolicked by the male associates, in approval of the native divinity. Ample of the old-style art and culture of this area can be observed throughout the Visakha Utsav.|