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Punnami Orvakal Festival Press Conference by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Govt. of Andhra Pradesh

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The Andhra Pradesh state is all set to host Punnami Orvakal, the first ever full moon festival at Orvakal, 215kms away from Hyderabad in Orvakal Rock Garden at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.

Disclosing this, addressing the press conference In city today, Mr. Himanshu Shukla. I.A.S, CEO A.P Tourism Authority, Government of Andhra Pradesh said "the first ever Full Moon festivals to be celebrated at one of the Best Kept Secrets of the State of Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh Tourism has explored many venues across the State. These 3 Billion-year-old rock formations are the ideal weekend getaway for Hyderabad, Bengaluru tourists".

Organized under the aegis of Andhra Pradesh Tourism, Govt of Andhra Pradesh and the festival will be managed by Violet Worldwide.

The three-day festival will commence on June 9 on a grand-scale amidst the rock formations, considered being one of the oldest rock formations in the world, Mr. Shukla added. It will conclude on June 11.

The location (20kms away from Kurnool the city served as the capital of Andhra State for some time) is picturesque. It will be a perfect occasion to bid summer in style as the moon will be at its fullest, brightest and dazzling.

"The Full Moon festival is celebrated across the world. We wanted a weekend to coincide with the full moon. Fortunately, the timing of the local festival Eruvaka Poomima also adds significance to the event. We are confident that the importance of this place will grab public attention/' says Santosh, Director, Violet Worldwide, who is managing the entire event on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism.

A vast stretch of 200 acres of government land will host the event. Accommodation will be given in categories of Platinum, Gold and Silver arenas and tickets are priced accordingly. "Orvakal is one of the best-kept secrets of Andhra Pradesh. We want people in and around Hyderabad and Telangana.

Andhra Pradesh, Bengaluru and Karnataka to know ond explore this place which has many things to offer,* says Himamhu Shukla

"The Andhra Pradesh Tourism welcomes people to be a part of this great and spectacular Festival to be held m a place that stood testimony for 3 Billion Years. It will be a never before experience for the select few participants*, added Mr. Shukla.

“An air-conditioned well furnished tented accommodation with all modern comforts will be provided to visitors. "We have procured 100 tents from the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat the ones used in the Rann utsav,* says Shukla informing that nearly 30 tents have already been booked.

500 registered guests are expected. Besides them, the tourism officials are expecting the local crowd of over 5,000 people.

The tickets are priced at Rs. 15,000 (Platinum), Rs. 10,000 (Gold) and Rs.5,000 (Silver). It includes food and accommodation for two days for four persons.

The timing of the festival is significant. The date June 9th also coincides with ERUVAKA PURNIMA a Local Festival of many zones in South India, celebrated by Farmers and household to welcome the Monsoons.

The organizers have lined up live performances by Shobana, one of the most sought after actresses and dancers; Revanth, Indian Idol Winner, and several other singers.

Akshar The Band and Black Sheep will enthrall guests with their live band performances. Besides these performances, Venetian Carnival, Mind Reader Mohit Rao and Illusion Artists shows will be held

The other attractions include Tethered Hot Air Balloon Ride, Rock Climbing, River Crossing, Indoor Bungee Trampoline, Rappeling, Zipline/flying, Water Walking, Rope Courses, Rock Trek, Paramotoring, Mash Machine and many more.

The festival promises to be an exciting extravaganza with many live shows, Video Installations, Adventure engagements/activities, Multi-event venues & Grand Carnival Parade. Airconditioned Breakout Tents, Mesmerising Arenas. For the Ease of many corporate and cosmopolitan crowd, many fast food joints such as Subway, Dominos & much more will be made available.

The venue has a restaurant, a cave museum, picnic area etc.

The nearby attractions to the festival include Ketavaram( 20minutes drive), Belum Caves (1.2hours drive), Gandikota(2.4hours drive), Ahobilam(2hours drive), Mantrayalam(2.3hours drive) and Mahanandi(1.2 hours drive)

The nearest attractions

Ketavarm rock site is considered one of the important prehistoric sites in the country. It is popular for its rock paintings on basalt rocks. Ketavaram site is believed to be contemporary to Indus Valley civilization. Many of the figures found at the Indus site have also been spotted at Ketavaram. Art there said to belong to mesolithic-megalithic period. Archaeological evidence state that the Ketavaram area had habitats during 6000 BC till 4000 BC.

The Belum Caves are the largest and longest cave system open to the public on the Indian subcontinent. These are known for its speleothems, such as stalactite(an icicle-shaped formation that hangs from the ceiling of a cave) and stalagmite( a type of rock formation that rises from the floor of a cave due to the accumulation of material deposited on the floor from ceiling drippings) formations

Gandikota, the hidden Grand Canyon of India. Gandikota was ruled by powerful Telugu dynasty, the Pemmasani Dynasty and was one of the most prominent forts in the country. Pennar river peacefully flows through the brilliant stone gorge that's artwork in itself. Gandikota is known for its spectacular gorge formed by river Pennar that cuts through the Erramala hills. This impressive piece of Nature's architecture has come to be referred to as the Hidden Grand Canyon of India by travelers who visit it and get bewitched by its beauty. It is also called 'Arizona of India.'

Ahobilam is a holy site. It is the place where the Lord killer Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahlada. Mahalakshmi took avathar as Senjulakshmi among the Senju, tribal hunters of the hills, and married the Lord.

Mantralayam is one of the important pilgrimage centers in South India as it houses the original samadhi of the great Vaishnava saint Sri Raghavendra. Sri Raghavendra selected Mantralaya for his Jeeva Samadhi. Devotees visit Mantralaya to have the darshan of the Brindavan of Sri Raghavendra. The mutt is situated on the banks of river Tungabhadra in the state of Andhra Pradesh bordering Karnataka.

Mahanandi is a great pilgrimage place. There are nine Nandi shrines known as Nava nandulu. Mahanandi is one of the Nava Nandis. The Mahanandiswara Swamy Temple is a famous shrine located here. This ancient temple dates back over 1,500 years. The inscriptions of 10th-century tablets speak of the temple being repaired and rebuilt several times. These nine temples are Mahanandi, Shivanandi, Vinayakanandi, Somanandi, Prathamanandi, Garudanandi, Suryanandi, Krishnanandi (also called Vishnu Nandi) and Naganandi.

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