SRIKAKULAM: The district administration has made elaborate arrangements for the first ever two-day ‘Turtle Festival’ to be started Tuesday at Srikurmam. In order to create awareness on the importance of the conservation of turtles, the Endowments, Forest and Revenue departments are jointly organising the festival.
The temple is known for being the only one of Lord Maha Vishnu, incarnated as Sri Kurmavatara, second avatara of Dasavatara. The temple also boasts of huge idols of Sri Kurmavataram and Maha Lakshmi. According to the endowments department, the mythological temple has a history spanning three Yugas and conserves a large number of turtles on its premises.
Srikakulam district has a long coastline of 193 km, covering 11 mandals and 104 coastal villages. The coastline is unique as it is the home of five varieties of turtles - Olive Ridley, Loggerheads, Green Sea, Leatherback and Hawkbill. While over 70 per cent of the turtles are Olive Ridleys, the other turtles also frequent the beaches for nesting.
Observing the high need to conserve the turtles, the district administration has decided to organise a two-day festival to create more awareness among the younger generations. According to district forest officer Vijaya Kumar, the Forest Department is leading the festival, which will be inaugurated by minister of Labour and Employment K Atchennaidu.
Marking the two-day festival, the officials have planned several programmes including various competitions for school students, cultural programmes and a special ‘Turtle Walk’. A massive beach cleaning programme has also been planned.