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February 23 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The Indian National Trust for Art And Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is actively working towards securing UNESCO recognition for the annual ‘Paruveta’ festival by proposing it as an ‘intangible cultural heritage.’

This festival, celebrated at the Sri Narasimha Swamy temple in Ahobilam, Andhra Pradesh, holds cultural significance and symbolizes communal harmony.

Paruveta Utsavam – Significance and Rituals:

  • Annual Celebration: Paruveta Utsavam is an annual mock hunting festival celebrated at the Sri Narasimha Swamy temple in Ahobilam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Deity’s Spiritual Journey: The festival involves taking the deity from the temple’s sanctum sanctorum to the 32 Chenchu tribal hamlets for 40 days, known as a ‘mandala.’
  • Communal Harmony: Tribal individuals symbolically aim their bows and shoot arrows at the palanquin, signifying reverence and their protective watch over the deity.
  • Narasimha Deeksha: Chenchus, the tribal community, participate by taking ‘Narasimha Deeksha,’ wearing yellow robes and ‘Tulasi Mala,’ observing celibacy during this period.
  • Pancharatra Agama: The Paruveta festival is referred to as ‘Mrugayotsava’ in the Pancharatra Agama, emphasizing its significance in temple worship.

Folklore and Historical Connection:

  • Lord Vishnu’s Incarnation: According to folklore, Lord Vishnu’s Narasimha incarnation married Maha Lakshmi, born as a tribal girl named Chenchulakshmi in Ahobilam.
  • Chenchu Tribes’ Reverence: Chenchu tribes consider Narasimha their brother-in-law and invite him home during Makara Sankranti, showcasing the deep cultural connection.

Chenchu Tribe:

  • Smallest Scheduled Tribe: The Chenchus, also known as ‘Chenchuvaru’ or ‘Chenchwar,’ are the numerically smallest Scheduled Tribe in Odisha.
  • Habitat: Primarily inhabiting the Nallamalai Hill ranges in southeastern India, they are an aboriginal semi-nomadic tribe of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Traditional Lifestyle: The Chenchus traditionally rely on hunting and food gathering, embodying a unique way of life.
  • Vulnerable Tribal Group: Recognized as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTGs) in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Intangible Cultural Heritage:

Intangible cultural heritage encompasses practices, expressions, knowledge, and skills recognized by communities, groups, or individuals as part of their cultural heritage.

Forms of Expression: It includes,

  1. Oral traditions,
  2. Performing arts
  3. Social practices
  4. Rituals and festive events
  5. Knowledge concerning nature and the universe.
  6. Traditional craftsmanship.

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH):

Establishment: Founded in 1984, INTACH is a non-profit charitable organization registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

Vision: INTACH’s vision is to spearhead heritage awareness and conservation in India, covering both natural and built heritage, along with intangible heritage.

UNESCO Recognition: In 2007, the United Nations granted INTACH special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, highlighting its significant contributions.


The efforts of INTACH to secure UNESCO recognition for the ‘Paruveta’ festival underscore the importance of preserving and promoting India’s rich intangible cultural heritage. The festival’s deep-rooted historical connections, cultural significance, and the involvement of tribal communities make it a worthy contender for international recognition.


February 23
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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