Devotees Throng Siva Temples Across Telugu States
Hyderabad: On the occasion of holy Maha Sivarathri festival on Friday, all the Shaivaite temples in both the Telugu States of Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh are reverberating with the chanting of “Aum Namah Shivayah” in praise of the Three-Eyed Lord. Devotees lined up in serpentine queues at the Shiva temples since early morning for darshan of “Vishwanatha” and performed Abhisekhams and special pujas.
For the sacred occasion, all temples of Lord Shiva in both the Telugu States were tastefully decorated with colorful flowers and illumination. The popular Shiva temples at Tirupati, Srisailam, Draksharamam, Srikalahasti, Kotappakonda, Palakollu, Vemulawada, Keesara, Bheemavaram and so on were thronged by thousands of devotees. On the occasion, the Srisailam shrine, one of the dwadasha (12) Jyothirlingas, has turned into a sea of devotees. After having sacred bath in the Pathalaganga, devotees waited in serpentine queues and had darshan of Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy.
Similarly, a large number of devotees thronged the most popular Srikalahasti temple. Keeping in view the heavy rush on the occasion, the temple authorities allowed darshan of Lord Kalahasteeshwara from 2 am and cancelled Arjitha sevas and introduced Laghu darshan. The devotees were given prasadams and milk packets in the queue lines. The special feature of this year’s Mahashivarathi at Srikalahasti was that the processional deities of the Lord and His Consort were decorated with gold ornaments after ten years. The APSRTC plied special bus services to Srikalahasti from Tirupathi, Nellore and Chennai.
In Telangana State, devotees thronged the Thousand-Pillar temple at Hanamkonda in Warangal district, Sri Rajarajeswara Swamy temple in Vemulawada of Karimnagar district, Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy temple at Keesara in Ranga Reddy district, Sri Jogulamba temple in Alampur in Mahbubnagar district. Simultaneously, the annual traditional fair commenced in Edupaayala in Medak district. Endowments Minister A Indrakaran Reddy, accompanied by his family members performed special puja at Rajarajeshwara Swamy temple at Vemulawada. On behalf of the State government, local MLA Chennameneni Ramesh presented silk vastrams to the divine couple. The TSRTC plied special buses from all parts of the State.
A delegation of priests from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam visited Sri Rajarajeswara Swamy temple and presented “Pattu Vastrams” to Lord Shiva on the occasion. Hundreds of devotees thronged the temple of Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy at Keesara and performed Abhisekhams amidst chanting of “Aum Namah Shivaya”. Devotees were seen patiently waiting for darshan of the Lord. Officials of Revenue and Panchayat Raj departments made bandobust arrangements. Devotees in huge numbers lined up since early morning at the temple of Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy at Komuravelli.
Similarly, Sri Kanaka Durga Malleswara Swamy temple atop Indrakeeladri in Vijayawada also attracted a large number of devotees. Ardent devotees made a beeline to the temple of Sri Kethaki Sangameshwara Swamy at Jharasangham in Medak district. Serpentine queues were seen at Keesaragutta, Ujjain and Omkareshwar temples since early morning.
Devotees in large numbers poured into the Moolasthaneshwara temple in the Potti Sriramulu Nellore district. The celebrations commenced on a large scale in the Uma Someshwara temple in Bhimavaram of West Godavari district. Devotees in large numbers started pouring into the temple from early hours and patiently waited in long queues. “Palabhishekam” to the presiding deity was performed amidst chanting of Veda mantras this morning.
It took more time for devotees to have darshan of the Lord at the historic Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy temple at Srisailam. Devotees turned out in thousands at the other famous temples, including Srikalahasti, Draksharamam, Pattiseema, Bhimavaram, Kotappakonda, Amaravati and Vemulawada. Rudrabhishekams and special pujas were performed for Shivalingas. The biggest congregation was at the Srisailam temple in Kurnool district. Devotees from various parts of the country prayed at the famous temple, which is one of 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Former Union minister Daggubati Purandeshwari, Endowments Principal Secretary B. Venkateshwarlu were among the devotees who worshipped the Lord.
Similarly, there was heavy pilgrims rush at Sri Kaleshwara Muktheeshwara Swamy Devasthanam in Kaleshwaram of Mahadevpur mandal along the banks of river Godavari adjoining Chhattisgarh State in the district. People were seen taking holy dip in the river before offering prayers. (NSS)