Men, women, and children of all age groups take part in the annual ritual
Thousands of devotees began their 32-km long trek around the Simhachalam hill on Thursday evening as part of the annual ‘giri pradakshina'. The day is observed on the full moon day of Ashadam.
Devotees observe fast and begin the trek after worshipping the Lord at the foothill. Men, women, and children of all age groups can be seen walking on the road around the hill. Voluntary organisations put up water and refreshment stalls along the way for the convenience of devotees. The devotees can be seen walking along the highway all through the night. They occupy nearly one half of the road and motorists have a tough time in driving down the road. The trekkers squat on the median all along the highway as they take short rests during their long walk. Some of the devotees proceed to the temple of Lord Madhava Swamy on the Madhavadhara hill slope where they worship the Lord after a bath under the natural waterfall. The devotees reach the foothill in the early hours of Friday. They have darshan of the Lord. Those who cannot undertake the arduous trek, go round the temple 108 times.