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Paruveta Utsavam

Context

Efforts are underway to secure UNESCO recognition for the annual ‘Paruveta’ (mock hunting festival) held at the Sri Narasimha Swamy temple in Ahobilam as an ‘intangible cultural heritage’.

Paruveta Utsavam

Paruveta Utsavam, also known as Mrugayotsava, is a fascinating Hindu festival celebrated in two different ways across South India:

 

  1. In Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh:
  • Celebrated on the day of Kanuma, which falls in January or February
  • Features Lord Malayappa Swamy and Lord Krishna Swamy embarking on a symbolic hunting expedition
  • Deities are taken in a colorful procession to the Seshachala ranges, where they “hunt” wild animals represented by symbolic targets
  • Signifies Lord’s protection of his devotees and his fight against evil
  • Celebrated with great pomp and gaiety, attracting thousands of devotees

 

  1. In Ahobilam, Andhra Pradesh:
  • Celebrated for 40 days around Ugadi, which falls in March or April
  • Features Lord Narasimha Swamy visiting 32 Chenchu tribal hamlets
  • Celebrates the legendary marriage of Lord Narasimha with Chenchulakshmi, a tribal girl
  • Highlights the absence of caste discrimination and promotes communal harmony.
  • Tribals shoot arrows at the deity’s palanquin as a mark of reverence and protection. 

     

    Both versions of Paruveta Utsavam offer unique insights into Hindu traditions and cultural practices. They showcase the deep connection between deities and their devotees, and the importance of protecting the environment and upholding social justice.