It’s not just religious fervour and surrender to god, the three-day Gunadala Mary Matha festival has something more to offer to pilgrims who come there from all over the State. Street graffiti, makeshift photo studios, toys, play items, sweet shops, and push cart vendors selling fresh dates are a few to mention that entice the devotees.

Of all these attractions, the makeshift studios were the icing on the cake.

Cashing in on the craving among many to get photographed with celebrities, a number of makeshift photo studios have come up at Gunadala. These studios present an opportunity to pilgrims to get photographed with life-size cut-outs of their favourite film stars.

One can find the life size cut-outs of film stars, posh sofa sets, portraits and statutes of Mother Mary and Jesus Christ, brand new motorcycles and even cars in these studios.

Resting one’s hands on ‘their’ shoulders, many are seen posing for a photograph with cine actors like Mahesh Babu, Pawan Kalyan, Jr. NTR or Ramcharan or Bunny. Those who wish to take back memories of their visit to the shrine, could opt for a photograph with the statue of Mary Matha. .

And, the expectations of youth who would like to pose for a photograph standing beside a sports bike are not a let down.

This time, the street vendors have come up with inflated guitars, cars, and cartoon characters apart from regular toys.

Paintings

The mithai or sweet boondi, and sugarcane are few other vendors who draw the attention of children. The photographers have brought motorcycles, more particularly sports bikes. The studios are charging around Rs. 35 per copy.

The graffiti artists brightened up the mood with their paintings. The sketch of Jesus on the BT Road near Gunadala Mary Matha shrine in the city was done using charcoal and colours from a variety of sources.

Aptly choosing the theme, the artist takes back the onlookers to crucifixion of Jesus.

He did not reveal his identity but accepted cash offered by devout pilgirms.

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