Vijayawada: Sankranti in this part of the country is a festival in which people enjoy sports such as cockfights - the controversies notwithstanding - kite flying and many more. However, for the residents of the Krishna district the most popular draw, it seems, would be the boat-riding competitions, that would give the AP festivities an Onam touch.
Organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) the boat-riding competition would be held at Nagayalanka. Like every year, this year too the denizens of the district would get an opportunity to cheer up the close to 200 participants, who would take part in the approximately one-kilometer long river water boat races, which would take place on January 13 and 14. “Like every year the district administration along with the tourism department have made arrangements for the Nagayalanka-Diviseema boat race,” said Krishna district collector B Lakshmi Kantham.
“Every year we are conducting the traditional boat race to highlight the tourism potential of what could be called the confluence point, the place where the river Krishna flows into the Bay of Bengal, in the Nagayalanka mandal. The locals are all set to conduct the competition in the river Krishna on January 13 and 14,” the Collector said.
Entries have been invited from participants, willing to take part in the competition that has two categories - solo and group, comprising of five members - informed officials. It is expected that over 200 participants would take part in the competition, the Collector said. On January 13, canoeing, kayaking, rowing and sailing competitions would take place and on January 14, dragon boat race would be held, providing the people an ideal way to celebrate Pongal, apart from showcasing the hidden beauty of the rural tourism to the outsiders, the Collector informed. The individual who and the team that would win would get a cash award of `25,000, officials said.
“Apart from the boat race, there are many other cultural events, which will woo the visitors. Night halt is also available at the close-by Navyanka island, where musical programmes by famous singers such as Vandemataram Srinivas, Usha, Malavika and many more will enthral the audience,” said the Collector. People taking part in the festivities in the island will have the option to gorge on varieties of food items that would be available there.
Apart from the boat races, the district administration is also preparing to hold traditional games, exclusively for women, on the occasion. “Rangoli competitions and games like lemon and spoon, tug-of-war, musical chair etc would be conducted. A food festival, which would house all traditional and fusion foods to woo the visitors, would be organised at Nagayalanka,” said the Collector.