The shores of the Penna teemed with people, as women left ‘gobbemmas’ on the riverside, and youth and children took part in kite flying competitions

A long-standing tradition here, the ‘gobbemma festival’ drew nearly lakh devotees to the shores of the Penna river in Nellore on Wednesday evening even as women came in large numbers to immerse the ‘gobbemmas’ in the river to mark the last day of Sankranti festive season.

The event was also called ‘kite festival’ considering the massive participation by the children, young and old people in the activity of kite flying when they would compete with one another to fly their kites to greater heights.

People, along with their families from all over the city, took part in the jatara. They congregated at the river bund adjoining the railway bridge near Shri Ranganayakula Swamy Temple for the eventful jatara. The festival started from 4 p.m. with the crowds swelling by the sunset.

‘Gobbemmas’ and ‘rangoli’ were decorated in the space in front of the devotees’ houses all through the festival, the women carried them to the river marking the gradual conclusion of the festival. An age-old tradition, the immersion of ‘gobbemmas’ stood as a symbol of plenty and fertility.

The district administration and voluntary organisations made arrangements for the public at the venue. Drinking water sachets were distributed among the devotees.

Nellore Urban MLA M. Sridhar Krishna Reddy, Anam Ranga Mayuri Reddy and others arrived at the venue and took part in the festival. They inspected the arrangements made for the people.

The dry riverbed served as a place for recreation for those who took part in kite flying in the afternoon.