Odisha’s Konark International Sand Art Festival
The KONARK FESTIVAL of Odisha (Orissa) is held every year from 1st to 5th Dec, organised by the Odisha Tourism. The KONARK SUN TEMPLE plays the backdrop to this iconic festival with all its glory. The festival take place in the open Open Air Auditorium of Konark Natya Mandap within the temple premises. The Konark Sun Temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is popular monument known for its distinctive design as a sun temple in the form of a “Chariot” with horses and wheels. The Konark Festival celebrates the dance forms of India, featuring a range of Indian classical dance performances including Odissi, Bharat Natyam and Kathak. The festival marks the cultural convergence of local, national as well as international artists. Come experience the rhythm, that binds India together!
Various local handicrafts, paintings and arts are also exhibited during this event. Food lovers can sneak into different stalls to relish the flavor of a variety of deliciously cooked local cuisines and sea food.
The International Sand Art Festival takes place at Chandrabhaga Beach, near the temple, at the same time as this festival. The first ever blue flag certified beach of Asia is just a few distance away from the Konark Temple. Known for its ravishing waves the Chandrabhaga Beach is a center for beach sports too. Artist and admirers from different parts of the world take this opportunity to enjoy this natural art form. Sand Art created by Padma Shree Sudarsan Pattnaik, the extremely talented sand artist is the treat of the event. His sand arts can leave you spellbound.
And if you are here during this period you can add on to your cart - a thrilling boat ride watching Irrawaddy Dolphins and thousands of International migratory birds at Chilika Lake; Take the blessing of the Lord Jagganath, Puri.
Jaganath Puri Temple - The temple of Jagannatha is most sacred Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Jagannath. The deities of this temple are Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra. The deities are made of wood and replaced every 12 to 19 years and this ritual is known as Nabakalebara. The Jagannath Temple is famous for its annual chariot festival called the Rath Yatra.
Chilika Lake is being treated as the real paradise for the bird-lovers. During winters the lake the migratory birds are spotted in a huge population, many bird species visit this Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon. Chilika Lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and second largest in the world. The major species that can be witnessed as White bellied sea eagles, Graylag geese, purple moorhen, flamingo jacana and herons. Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary is also a habitant of one of biggest breeding places of flamingos in the world. The driving distance between Puri and Chilika Lake is 104 km.