Andhra Pradesh remains brimming with stories about the past civilizations and the omnipresent spirituality. Having been through a very dynamic past of empires, rulers and invasions, Andhra Pradesh became a melting pot of various cultures and a mosaic of traditions that has managed to survive the test of time.
Holy shrines and temples are peppered all across the state making it clear that the local Andhra’s are deeply connected to their roots. Each year thousands of pilgrims make it a point to visit this state as a part of their holy holidays or pilgrimages. Festivals make for a very important part of the Andhra culture and are a part of the people’s identity there.
If you are thinking about exploring this southern gem of India then it is best for you to plan a trip to Andhra during some festival season to truly grasp the ethnic vibe of this Place:
List of 9 Famous Festival Celebrated In Andhra Pradesh
Pongal which also goes by the name of Makar Sankranti in the northern and central Indian region is one of the most important festivals to be celebrated in Andhra Pradesh. This harvest festival is traditionally celebrated during the end of the winter season with the locals of Andhra continuing the celebrations for 3 days. The ideal time to visit Andhra to grasp the real feel of authentic Pongal is during the month of January. Being one of the most important festivals of Andhra, every house is elaborately decorated with pretty rangolis grancing every house entrance.
Ugadi or Gudi Padwa is a vibrant festival celebrated all across the southern state to welcome abundance, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year. Along with Andhra, other neighboring states like Karnataka and Telangana also celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. Ugadi which is celebrated in April marks the beginning of a new astronomical year where the people also perform puja to the Hindu panchang in order to bless the New Year with good luck, hope and blessings. Technically speaking for 21 days, beginning on the first day of Ugadi, the earth receives maximum amount of sunlight which is considered to be a very spiritually Energising time for the Earth.
3. Vinayaka Chaturthi
Marking the birthday of Lord Ganesha and also known as Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra, Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the most awaited festivals in South India, where Vinayaka or Ganesha is worshipped by a huge chunk of the population. On this incredible festive day, the people here perform grand celebrations and puja rituals honoring Lord Ganesha. They also perform puja with vermilion, leaves, flowers, sandalwood, and kheer among others. As a part of the tradition, after the ceremonies and rituals are completed the idol of the lord is then immersed into the river or any water body.
4. Visakha Utsav
Organized by the state government of Andhra Pradesh, Visakha Utsav is all about highlighting and celebrating the culture, traditions and age-old beliefs of Andhra. The Utsav or the grand celebration takes place for a duration of 4 days in December every year. The first Visakha festival was held in 1997 where large throngs of local people and tourists from all over the world visited Andhra to witness a plethora of cultural events, sporting activities, display of traditional arts and handicrafts, heritage tours, garment shopping and many more. The main festival takes place in Visakhapatnam. The festival is a great way of learning more about the deep-rooted culture that thrives in this mystical land of spirituality and wonderment.
Mahashivratri is a grand festival dedicated to Lord Shiva and is celebrated with great vigor and grandeur across the subcontinent. Celebrated annually on the night of Krishna Chaturdashi, people make sure to fast and offer their prayer to the Lord in temples and at homes. Shiva temples around this time serves as the ground for celebrations and performances that goes on throughout the night. In Andhra, Mahashivratri is considered to be the oldest festival and some of the important temples for celebration is the Kalahasteeswara Temple and Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple.
Dussehra is without a doubt one of the grandest occasions which is celebrated throughout India. Referred to as Vijayadashami in South India, it is during this time that the locals decide to worship goddess Durga for a duration of 10 days. The people here celebrate by wearing traditional attire, making delicious traditional food, and setting up a Bommala Koluvu which is a quirky arrangement of dolls and various toys. The festival remains set to take place during the months of February or March or during the dark Phalgun months.
It is no surprise that Diwali is one of the most massively celebrated festivals not only in India but also by Indians abroad. The festival of lights is the time when the entire state of Andhra gets lit up with colorful lights and Diyas all over which is accompanied with bursting of some crackers and performing Lakshmi puja. The festival takes place during the new moon night or the Amavasya during the months of either October or November. One of the main Specialities of the festival is the preparation and exchanging of sweets, cleaning up the house and making beautiful and colorful rangolis.
8. Tirupati Tirumala Brahmotsavam
The center stage for this historic and iconic festival is the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati. It is one of those rare festivals which is dedicated to Lord Brahma and goes on for 9 whole days in the month of October. According to religious traditions Lord Brahma is believed to have been the first one to start this festival at the temple. During the entirety of the 9 days, several pooja rituals take place with the last day culminating in a grand manner with hordes of massive devotees and tourists visiting to pay their respect to the creator, Lord Brahman. A procession is carried out of the lord on the streets before finally reaching the temple.
9. Lumbini Festival
Andhra is a state of multiple religions, faiths and beliefs. This Buddhist festival is organized by the tourism department of the state since Buddhism had a huge significance during medieval Andhra Pradesh. The main motive of the festival is to highlight the importance of Buddhism in our lives. The Lumbini festival takes place in Nagarjuna Sagar for a duration of 3 days. This major festival takes place in December and is attended by tourists and Buddhists from far and wide.
Andhra Pradesh is a state filled with interesting folktales, ancient tales of wisdom and wondrous temples. The place is all about cultural oneness and embracing and celebrating all the festivals in harmony and brotherhood.