Hordes of ardent devotees of Lord Rama started pouring in to Bhadrachalam to witness Sri Sitarama Tiru Kalyana Mahotsavam slated to be held in the historical temple town on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami on Friday.
The temple town has been decked up to celebrate the event in a befitting manner. As many as ten welcome arches containing the images of Lord Rama and his consort Sita have been erected at important locations including the entry and exit points of the town. The entire temple complex housing the historical Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy shrine has been illuminated for the grand festival.
The Kalyana mandapam at Mithila Stadium, the venue for the celestial wedding, has been tastefully decorated and sector-wise seating arrangements made to enable pilgrims to witness the event in a hassle-free manner. Barricades have been erected on the premises of the stadium to facilitate the smooth conduct of the ceremonial procession to be taken out from the temple to the Kalyana mandapam on Friday. A virtual security blanket has been thrown around Bhadrachalam in view of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s scheduled visit to the temple town to present “Mutyala Talambralu” and “Pattu Vastrams” to the temple deity on behalf of the State government on Friday. Mobile police teams have been drafted for bandobust duty. A crane has been stationed near the bridge across the Godavari to tackle traffic jams.
The authorities have made arrangements for provision of drinking water, temporary shelters, first aid, and other amenities to the pilgrims on the eve of Rama Navami. The APSRTC has pressed into service special buses to the temple town from various destinations. Notwithstanding the arrangements, several devotees mainly those who arrived in the temple town from far off places one day in advance experienced inconvenience at the prasadam and ticket counters on Thursday due to lack of coordination between the temple authorities and officials of other departments.
A large number of devotees participated in Edurkolu Utsavam and other special rituals held late in the evening.