The annual Margasira Masam festival of Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi temple began on a grand note at the temple premises in old city here on Monday, amid the chanting of hymns.
Visakhapatnam South legislator Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao formally performed the puja and abhishekam under the guidance of chief priest of the temple Brundavanam Desikacharyulu in the presence of temple committee chairman K. Tata Rao, executive officer D. Bhramaramba, CMR proprietor Mavuri Venkata Ramana, who had earlier presented a gold covering for the idol worth Rs.16 lakhs, Congress leader Koppula Venkata Rao and others.
The highlight of this year is a Rs.2 lakh silver idol of the goddess Sri Kanakamahalakshmi, weighing four kg donated by a devotee Jerripothula Prasad.
The sculptor was K. Trinath. The silver idol will figure in the Uyyala Seva of the temple.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that devotees from north coastal Andhra make a beeline for the temple during the month to offer prayers.
Ms. Bhramaramba said all arrangements for the festival and facilities for devotees were made and more would be in place wherever needed, particularly on Thursdays which are considered very auspicious.