Come Kaarthika-Margasira maasams, the environs of Indrakeeladri, abode of goddess Kanaka Durga, acquire red hue as the Bhavanis throng the hill shrine in large numbers. The Durga ghat gets jam-packed with Bhavanis taking a holy dip in the river Krishna.
Some male devotees are seen wearing sarees, bangles, kumkum etc., like a woman on banks of the river. Smearing turmeric on their faces, they decorate themselves with kumkum on their forehead.
The toddlers could be seen watching the hullabaloo and ongoing activity with full of hustle bustle curiously while their parents perform laid down rituals at the ghat. As the ardha mandala deeksha has become popular these days, women of all ages are seen taking the deeksha.
The giri pradikshna, circumambulation of the hill, by the Bhanvanis gives an impression that ground around the Indrakeeladri was turning red. Irrespective of gender, toddlers to aged make a beeline to have a glimpse of the presiding deity and relinquish their deeksha.
The devotees, imitating the goddess Durga, wear garlands made of lemons. The devotees throw their robes into the river after deeksha viramna. And, the discarded robes of the devotees are collected from the river and shifted in tractors apparently for recycling.
Generally the Bhavani deeksha begins on Kartika Pournami or Utthana Ekadasi in Kaartika maasam in Telugu calendar, and conclude on Margasira bahula dasami. The devotees address others as Bhavanis during the deeksha time and lead austere life that includes bath before dawn, one time meal etc.