After Dasara, it was ‘rathothsava' (chariot festival) atop the Chamundi Hills which had devotees making a beeline for the Chamundeshwari shrine on Thursday.

The annual festival dedicated to the goddess Chamundeshwari is held a few days after Navaratri celebrations, and people congregated in large numbers atop the hills to participate in the festivities.

Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar performed rituals under the supervision of ‘archakas' to commence the rathothsava. People had occupied vantage points to catch a glimpse of the unfolding event.

With each passing year, the event is gaining popularity. However, the increase in the number of people visiting Chamundi Hills has caused concern for environmentalists. There are apprehensions that not much is being done to protect the fragile ecosystem of the hills which is witnessing unbridled urbanisation.