Bhubaneswar, Dec 1 (PTI) Festivities at the Konark Sun Temple kicked off on Saturday with the inauguration of the Konark Dance Festival and the International Sand Art Festival.

Set against the pristine Chandrabagha beach as the backdrop, the International Sand Art Festival’s theme this year revolves around the ongoing Hockey Men’s World Cup being held at Bhubaneswar.

The 30th Konark Festival opened with the performance by renowned Odissi Guru Durga Charan Ranbir and group.

The second dance performance in Bharatanatyam was led by Rama Vaidyanathan, an exponent in the form.

Prior to the performances, Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda inaugurated the festival with the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony.

Director & Special Secretary Tourism, Archana Patnaik highlighted the department’s efforts to promote tourism throughout the year through a diverse calendar of events besides steadily upgrading tourist infrastructure.

“It is a beautiful coincidence of cultural and competitive events that makes the Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark triangle among the most happening places to be at this moment,” she said

The second day at Konark Festival on Sunday will witness performances of Kathak by accomplished danseuse Yasmin Singh and group, and of Odissi by exponent Sharmila Biswas and group, said an official.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.