Traditional fervour and gaiety marked the annual ‘Chandanotsavam’ of Lord Varaha Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy, the presiding deity of Simhachalam, here on Friday.

Thousands of devotees converged on the hill to have darshan of the Lord in His original form, which can be seen only once in a year.

Hereditary trustee of the temple Poosapati Anand Gajapathi Raju and his family members were the first to offer prayers in accordance with the age-old tradition at the temple.

Principal Secretary (Endowments) Venkateswara Rao submitted ‘pattu vastrams’ to the Lord on behalf of the State government. TTD priest ‘Dollar’ Seshadri presented ‘pattu vastrams’ on behalf of the TTD.

RTC operated special buses for the convenience of devotees.

“The arrangements were excellent. It took around 45 minutes for me in the queue. Though our car was stopped at the foothill as I did not have a car pass, I have no complaint as free buses were available every few minutes to go up the hill,” said G.V.S.N. Srinivas, a medical practitioner from the U.S., who came home on a holiday to the city.

“I came out in less than half-an-hour,” said neurologist S. Gopi of KGH, who had darshan at around 11.45 a.m.

Endowments Commissioner Mukteswara Rao, District Collector Solomon Arokia Raj, Police Commissioner B. Shivadhar Reddy, Superintendent of Police (Visakhapatnam Rural) Vikram Jeet Duggal, DRO M. Venkateswara Rao, Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar, and Senior DCM M. Yelvender Yadav were among those who had darshan of the Lord.

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