Devotees thronged temples, more particularly Kanakadurga temple atop Indrakeeladri, on the first Friday of the auspicious ‘Sravana masam’ in Vijayawada on Friday. The Kanakadurga temple was spruced up for ‘pavitrotsavam’ performed during the auspicious month. Devotees began coming to the temple from the wee hours after taking a holy dip in the River Krishna. They attended the poojas performed to mark the beginning of the Sravana maasam festivities.

The ghat road was a river of humanity. At a point of time, the temple authorities stopped Antaralaya darshan in view of heavy rush. Additional queue lines were formed from reception counter for VIPs and Rs. 100 ticket holders. It is estimated that about 80,000 devotees visited the temple by evening. The temple authorities, however, decided to perform Vara Lakshmi pooja next Friday. The presiding deity will be decked up as Vara Lakshmi on that day. The temple authorities have cancelled the ‘Khadgamala’ a special pooja slotted for next Friday in view of the Vara Lakshmi festival. A ‘kalasa ooregimpu’ (procession with kalasams) would be organised on that day. The women would have to bring their kalasam and join the procession at Durga Ghat on Thursday. After showing the kalasam to presiding deity, the kalasam could be used for pooja on Friday, said Sthanacharya Sivaprasada Sarma. The temple, for the last two years, is organising Varalakshmi pooja atop Indrakeeladri. About 100 women took part in the pooja during last two years. The authorities are expecting that nearly 200 women will take part in the Varalakshmi pooja on next Friday. The temple gave away blouse pieces and bangles as ‘prasadam’ to the devotees who performed the pooja. The three-day pavitrotsavam will begin with Udaka Santhi on August 19 evening. The rituals will begin with ‘snapanabhiskeham’ on August 20. Sarvaprayaschita havanam would be organised, and the pavitrosavam would conclude with poornahuti and distribution of pavitras on August 22.

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