At Durga ghat too there was only a moderate presence of devotees
The conferment of Bhavani deeksha began on a dull note here on Wednesday. The number Bhavanis coming to Sri Durga Malleswara Swami Varla Devasthanam was very small on the first day of conferment compared to previous years.
The devotees thronged Indrakeeladri wearing red robes. At Durga ghat too there was only moderate rush. Devotees took a dip before taking the deeksha in early hours. The hillock was caught in deeksha fervour as the devotees reached Bhavani Mandapam chanting the various names of Goddess Durga. The rituals began with the bringing out of processional deities of the goddess and her consort, to Bhavani Mandapam, and conducting ‘Vighneswara Puja’, ‘Kalasa Sthapana’ and ‘Punyahavachanam’. The two-hour rituals indicated the beginning of the 41-day ‘deeksha’.
Temple priests conferred deeksha on the devotees by chanting Vedic hymns. The Bhavanis, as they will now be called, went around temples of Kanaka Durga, Malleswara Swami, Nataraja, Vinayaka, Subrahmanya Swami and Anjaneya Swami, on the hillock.
A heavy rush of Bhavanis is expected on Kartika Pournami, on November 17, as the devotees prefer this day. On suggestion from the police, the temple authorities staggered the deeksha conferment over five days. Earlier, the devotees used to take deeksha only on Kartika Pournami. Those who took the ‘deeksha’ on Wednesday will have to relinquish it on or after December 23.
Temple Executive Officer K. Prabhakara Srinivas did not turn up for the annual ritual. The other senior officials and priests performed the rituals.