An artist works on a sand art sculpture on Chandrabhaga beach in Odisha
An artist works on a sand art sculpture on Chandrabhaga beach in Odisha

Odishas Chandrabhaga Sand Art Festival Returns With International Artists In 2022

Head to this beach in Odisha where artists use sand as their canvas to narrate stories

A fan of art or an admirer of sea beaches with sand castles Not just castles but intricate worlds of art are created in Odisha with sand. Interested Get your travelling notepads ready to note down the dates of one of the most prominent art festivals in India.

Odisha&rsquos world-famous International Sand Art Festival will take place from December 1 to 5, 2022. The astounding displays of sand artists from India and many other countries will be honoured during the International Sand Artist Festival when many beautiful forms will be fashioned out of soft golden sands.

Mythological Roots

Sand art has mythological origins as well. Lord Balrama Das, the poet of Dandi Ramayan, was a devoted follower of Lord Jagannath of Puri. It is believed that he attempted to offer his salutations to Lord Jagannath by climbing the chariots while the idols were out on the Ratha Yatra. The chariot's priests, however, forbade him from ascending and questioned his devotion to the Lord. In retaliation, the poet carved out statues of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra and began fervently praying to these sculptures. The legend claims that because of his dedication, the original idols disappeared from the chariot and emerged at the site of Balrama Das&rsquo sculptures.

The 2022 Festival 

Skilled sculptors will bring the stunning sand sculptures on Chandrabhaga's sea shore to life. Sudarsan Pattnaik, a famous Orissan sand artist who has won the Padma Shree for his outstanding work, has been the event&rsquos brand ambassador for a long time now. Every year, a theme is given to all the artists and accordingly, they carve out their magnificent art pieces.

Both Indian and international sand artists are expected to participate in the International Sand Art Festival organised by the Odisha government. Renowned artists from countries like Mexico, Spain, Singapore, France, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, and the United States of America will produce works of art, and they will be competing for the Rs100,000 cash prize which comes with the title of &lsquoBest Artist.&rsquo

The festival witnessed its first edition in 2015. It was initially a part of the Konark Dance Festival but is now held as a separate event. Every year the artists make their masterpieces on the theme revolving around issues that plague the planet. Last year, the theme of the festival was eco-tourism and environment, and the artists carved out sculptures aligning with the idea of it.

Owing to Covid-19, last year, there was no international participation. However, this year, the sand art festival will have a gathering from across the globe.

Things To Do

Chandrabhaga beach has glorious sunrise views. The main beachfront is small, with a few stalls that sell shell crafts and a couple of food vendors.&nbspIt&rsquos more popular as a sacred spot where the devout congregate for a holy dip during the local festival of Maghamela, usually held in January. The first glimpse of the beach will take your breath away. Emerald waters, long stretches of virgin beaches and casuarina groves will transport you to an ethereal world. The beach is mostly empty except in the evenings and early mornings. One of the main attractions here is the Konark Lighthouse, which you can climb to get a spectacular view of the sea and the surrounding areas. Be wary of the choppy waters off the beach. They are not safe to swim in and a signboard cautions that undercurrents are dangerous.

The Information

Held at Chandrabhaga, around three kilometres from Konark, the festival is one of the occasions that showcases Odisha and its fantastic tourist attractions. The festival is free to watch and enjoy. Around the smae time, the 13th century Sun Temple (about 65km by road from Bhubaneswar) in Konark forms the background to the Konark Dance Festival. The festival will not showcase classical Odissi dance, and other dance forms. 

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