The three-day Visakha Utsav was inaugurated by M. Venkaiah Naidu, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development, in Visakhapatnam on 3 February 2017.
The state festival, comprising various cultural events is being held at the port city’s Rama Krishna Beach. The kick-off day saw in attendance various notable figures from the state ministry such as the HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas, Zilla Parishad Chairperson Lalam Bhavani and MLAs V. Anita, Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar, Palla Srinvasa Rao and P. Vishnu Kumar Raju.
• Visakha Utsav is an annual festival that aims to bring out the rich culture and tradition of Andhra Pradesh.
• Its main objective is to promote the brand image of Visakhapatnam.
• It includes a cultural event called ‘Utsav Vedika’, which aims to revive the state’s art forms.
• Officials from various departments had been working as a team since the past three days to celebrate the festival.
• The inauguration was followed by a folk dance by Lambadi women from Warangal.
• After the presentation of a theme-based song, a dance ballet choreographed by popular Kuchipudi dancer Bala Kondala Rao was staged. This was followed by a cultural extravaganza.
• Besides this, the event will also see performances by many popular personalities including Shibani Kashyap, Baba Sehgal and Devi Sri Prasad.
• Other main highlights of the festival include replicas of temples, adventure sports, kite festival, beach volleyball and a grand flower show.
The festival is expected to witness heavy footfall, not only from within the city but from the entire state and outside as well. Following are some of the arrangements made by the state authorities to ensure the smooth functioning of the event:
• The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has made arrangements for bus services to and from the beach to several places in order to make commuting easy for the visitors.
• The places include Pendurthi, Gajuwaka, Chodavaram, Tagarapuvalasa, Sabbavaram, Anakapalle, Bheemili, Kothavalsa and Simhachalam.
• While the bus services from these places to the beach will start at 3 pm, the return service will start operating from 7 pm.
• Almost 75 buses have been allotted for the event. The last bus from the beach will operate at 10 pm.
• The state has also deployed a special staff to assist passengers and control traffic at the beach.
• Apart from this, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Limited will be operating a stall at the Beach to enable booking of rooms at APTDC hotels from the beach itself with a 30 per cent discount.