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About the Paruveta Festival


The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is making efforts to secure UNESCO recognition for the annual ‘Paruveta’ festival.


GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Paruveta Festival: A Celebration of Communal Harmony and Tradition
  2. Key Facts about Chenchu Tribes

Paruveta Festival: A Celebration of Communal Harmony and Tradition


  • Celebrated at Sri Narasimha Swamy temple in Ahobilam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Also known as the ‘mock hunting festival.’

Inclusivity and Communal Harmony:

  • Celebrated by people of all castes, fostering communal harmony.
  • Devotees from diverse religious communities, including Muslims, participate.

Origin and Folklore:

  • Linked to the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Narasimha in Ahobilam.
  • Folklore narrates Lord Vishnu’s marriage to tribal girl Chenchulakshmi, symbolizing unity.

Special Rituals and Duration:

  • Paruveta rituals extend for a ‘mandala’ (forty days), distinguishing it from common Vijayadasami or Sankranti observances.
  • Deity taken to 32 Chenchu tribal villages during the festival.

Ceremonial Activities:

  • Devotees aim bows and shoot two arrows at the palanquin to express reverence and signify protective cover.
  • Chenchus undergo ‘Narasimha Deeksha,’ donning yellow robes and Tulasi Mala, observing celibacy.
  • Temple staff reside in tribal hamlets, reflecting a casteless society of the past with no untouchability.

Symbolism and Tradition:

  • Festival encapsulates traditions, communal unity, and spiritual significance.
  • The unique duration of 40 days sets it apart, emphasizing the rich cultural tapestry of Ahobilam.

Key Facts about Chenchu Tribes

Geographical Presence:

  • Primarily inhabit the hills of southern India, with a significant population in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Also found in states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Orissa.

Language and Communication:

  • Native language, Chenchu, belongs to the Dravidian language family.
  • Many Chenchus are bilingual, also speaking Telugu, the language of their Hindu neighbors.

Shift in Livelihood:

  • Historically nomadic food-gatherers, many Chenchu have transitioned to settled lives as farmers or forest laborers.
  • Displacement from traditional lifestyles due to increasing agricultural activities.

Habitat and Architecture:

  • Dwell in hive-shaped houses constructed with wattle thatch (intertwined poles, twigs, reeds, or branches).

Social Structure:

  • Social organization includes clans, local groups, and families.
  • Exogamous practice prohibits marriage within the same clan.
  • Follow patrilineal descent, tracing lineage through males.

Cultural Adaptation:

  • Adoption of Hindu deities from neighboring Telugu tribe due to increased interaction with plains people.

Challenges and Adaptation:

  • Economic shifts and cultural assimilation pose challenges to traditional Chenchu ways of life.
  • Resilience and adaptation in the face of changing socio-economic landscapes.

-Source: The Hindu

April 2024