Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Paruveta Utsavam of Ahobilam


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Paruveta Festival

Mains level: NA

Paruveta Utsavam

Why in the News?

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is spearheading efforts to secure UNESCO recognition for the annual ‘Paruveta’ Festival celebrated at the Sri Narasimha Swamy temple in Ahobilam, Andhra Pradesh.

About Paruveta Festival

  • The festival takes place at the Sri Narasimha Swamy temple in Ahobilam, Andhra Pradesh, attracting devotees from diverse backgrounds.
  • Celebrated by people of all castes, the festival fosters communal harmony, with devotees from various religious communities, including Muslims, offering prayers to Lord Narasimha.
  • Folklore narrates that Lord Vishnu married Chenchulakshmi, a tribal girl, in Ahobilam, strengthening ties between the deity and the local Chenchu tribe.
  • Unlike other temples where Paruveta rituals occur during Vijayadasami or Sankranti, at Ahobilam, the festival celebration spans a ‘mandala’ of 40 days.
  • Rituals:
    1. The deity is ceremoniously taken to the 32 Chenchu tribal villages surrounding Ahobilam, signifying the community’s reverence.
    2. Chenchus demonstrate their protective devotion by symbolically aiming arrows at the deity’s palanquin.
    3. Chenchu devotees undertake ‘Narasimha Deeksha’, donning yellow robes and observing celibacy during the 40-day period.
    4. Temple staff reside in these hamlets, reflecting a historical casteless society devoid of untouchability.

UNESCO Criteria for Inclusion into the Cultural Heritage List:

  • To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  • To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over some time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  • To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization that is living or which has disappeared;
  • To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape that illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  • To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land use, or sea use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  • To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);

Try this PYQ from CSP 2014:

Every year, a month long ecologically important campaign/festival is held during which certain communities/ tribes plant saplings of fruit-bearing trees. Which of the following are such communities/tribes?

a) Bhutia and Lepcha

b) Gond and Korku

c) lrula and Toda

d) Sahariya and Agariya

Post your answers here.
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