Devotees turned up in huge numbers at many temples of Lord Siva, Sri Trikoteswara Swamy Devastanam at Kotappakonda, Sri Amareswara Swamy Devastanam in Amaravati and other temples at Govada and Pedakakani, on the occasion of Maha Sivaratri on Thursday.
An estimated seven lakh devotees thronged the hill shrine, Kotappakonda, near Narasaraopet. The sight of the devotees making a beeline to the hill shrine of Kotappakonda was spectacular. The surge of devotees that began in the early hours peaked towards evening and the evening sky was a riot of colours as long and illuminated `prabhas,’ dotted the skyline. Devotees carried as many as 16 illuminated prabhas measuring over 40 feet height.
Thanks to a well coordinated approach towards managing the huge crowds, the day passed off without any major incident. An electric pole made with tyres collapsed resulting in injuries to a man at Pothavaram in Chilakaluripet.
NGOs vied with one another to distribute drinking water sachets and butter milk to devotees who turned up in a large number on a hot day. RTC plied 560 buses from various destinations.
Minister for Cooperation Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy offered `silk clothes,’ to the presiding deity at Kotappakonda in the evening. Among the VIPs who had a darshan of the deity include, Dokka Manikya Varaprasad, Modugula Venugopala Reddy, Kodela Siva Prasada Rao, Prathipati Pulla Rao, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, Joint Commissioner of Endowments Department Srinivasa Rao and Assistant Commissioner Maheswara Reddy. Executive Officer A. Ramakoti Reddy oversaw the arrangements.
The `mela,’ held on the foot hills has over 3 lakh people converging. They witnessed special musical and dance programmes organised by the district administration and as has been the practice for some years, `recording dances,’ were not allowed.
The police bandobast was organised in an effective manner with Superintendent of Police, Guntur Rural. J. Satyanarayana camping for the night.