Devotees throng temples on Mahashivaratri

HYDERABAD: Lakhs of devotees thronged Saivite temples in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Mahashivaratri on Tuesday.

The temples reverberated with the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya” in praise of the Lord Shiva. The temples were tastefully decorated with flowers and illuminated with colourful bulbs.

Devotees lined up in serpentine queues before the Shiva temples since early morning for darshan of “Vishwanatha”. The temples that attracted the largest crowds were at Srisailam, Daksharamam, Srikalahasti, Kotappakonda, Palakollu, Vemulawada, Keesara, Bheemavaram and so on were thronged by thousands of devotees.

In Telangana, a large number of devotees lined up at the Thousand Pillar temple at Hanamkonda in Warangal district, Sri Rajarajeswara Swamy temple in Vemulawada in 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.

A delegation of priests from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam visited Sri Rajarajeswara Swamy temple and presented “Pattu Vastrams” to Lord Shiva on the occasion. Union minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatraya visited the temple and performed special pujas. Later, District Collector Neetu Kumari Prasad presented silk clothes to the presiding deity on behalf of the State government. The temple officials estimated that some two lakh devotees thronged the temple.

Similarly, people in large numbers thronged the temple of Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy at Keesara in Ranga Reddy district and performed Abhisekhams. Half a kilometre long queues of devotees were seen outside the temple where heavy bandobast was arranged. In the same district, devotees lined up in huge numbers 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 poured into the Moolasthaneshwara temple in Nellore district. The celebrations commenced on a large scale in the Uma Someshwara temple in Bhimavaram of West Godavari district where “Palabhishekam” to the presiding deity was performed amidst chanting of Veda mantras this morning.

It took more than ten hours for devotees to have darshan of the Lord at the historic Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy temple at Srisailam. Devotees from various parts of the country offered prayers 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 them.

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 Godavari river before offering prayers.

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