Cultural shows, boating and musical concert to mark the fest at Atapaka

Here is good news for bird lovers. Kolleru, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country, will host Pelican Festival at the Atapaka bird sanctuary on February 4.

Officials are making elaborate arrangements to attract tourists for the ‘Pakshula Panduga’ at Atapaka village, located on the borders of the Krishna and West Godavari districts.

More than 5,000 spot-billed pelicans, also known as grey-headed pelicans, will visit the lake, roost, breed and fly with their young ones during the winter season. Besides, hundreds of painted storks and other bird species will nest in all seasons.

Tourists throng the lake to have a peek at the winged visitors. Students and bird watchers will enjoy the scene in the lake and the neighbouring island villages after the break of dawn.

The district administration, the AP Tourism and the Forest Department officials are making the arrangements. Collector B. Lakshmikantham inaugurated posters of the festival recently.

“The sanctuary will be decked up for the festival. Film artistes, noted singers and other celebrities will perform cultural programmes. The Environment Education Centre (EEC), the children’s park and the boating facility will entertain the tourists,” Mr. Lakshmikantham said.

Students of different educational institutions will visit the lake. Parking, drinking water, toilets and other facilities are arranged on the lake bund, the officers said.

“The EEC will provide information to the visitors on different birds nesting in Kolleru and the neighbouring habitations. Different species, their food habits, the sounds they make, roosting, brooding and other information will be displayed in the centre,” an official said.

Locals demand 3-day festival

The locals appeal to the government to organise the festival for three-days instead of one day. They allege that the officials are neglecting the bird’s paradise which has good tourist potential.

“Besides the pelicans and the painted storks, Kolleru is the nesting place for many migratory birds which catch the attention of bird watchers from all over the country. We request the government to make it a three-day event on a grand scale,” said a villager P. Venkateswara Rao.