Odisha–known as the Soul of Incredible India, is a land of Serene, Scenic and Sublime. It has a long and cherished history, a hospitable people, a bountiful natural and cultural heritage, a wide range of handicrafts, colourful festivals, and so on and so forth.The ancient Odisha is the motherland of sculptural art as depicted in Rock-Cut Elephant at Dhauli of 3rd century B.C. The art of Odisha is found with its supreme expression represented by the sculptures pertaining to various mediums such as stone, wood ivory, silver, sand, palm leaf etc. The tradition of art is living and still vibrant by the hands of artists of Odisha. The Beaches of Puri and Chandrabhaga (near Konarak,) again form a canvas for the Sand Art. The tradition of Sand Art in Odisha is known to have originated from time immemorial and is recorded that a Sand Chariot was made by a devotee poet Balaram Das in 14th century A.D. The tradition is now revived by the practising sand artists.
Sand Art is being taken as one the medium for tourism promotion. An effort is made by Odisha Tourism to organise first ever International Sand Art Festival in India from 1st to 5th December 2011, in the Chandrabhaga Beach with the famous Konarak Festival. The long and serene Chandrabhaga Beach is a wonderful venue which has a beautiful natural ambience befitting for the Sand Art Festival along with the Konarak Festival, considering the large number of tourists who come from across the country and abroad to witness the Festival. The International Sand Art Festival again aims at providing a platform for the Sand Artists to learn each other from the creativity of each individual Artists.
The International Sand Art Festival, had sand artists of national and international repute, Sudarshan Patnaik as the brand ambassador. The five-day event with participation from 6 countries, including Canada and the US, apart from 24 sculptors from five states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Karnataka and Odisha across the country. The International participations are Ms Kali Bradford, USA, Ms Remy Geerts, Holland, Mr. Craig Lan Mutch, Canada, Mr. Bob Atisso, Ghana, Mr. Paul Jemes Hoggard, UK, Mr. Rodrigo Demagalhaesferreira, Portugal.
The top three national artists will be given prizes. While a prize money of Rs 1 lakh has been stipulated for the best sand art, the second and third positions will be awarded Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively.
Along with the Sand Art, visitors may enjoy by taking part in the Hot Air Baloon programme being organised at Chandrabhaga.