A series of special rituals had been held in the temple since dawn

The nine-day annual Brahmotsavam of Lord Venkateswara here took off to a colourful start with Dwajarohanam (flag hoisting) performed on Saturday evening.

The sacred yellow cloth, Dwajapatam, bearing an imprint of Lord Garuda, was hoisted amid Vedic chanting under the stewardship of Sri Thiruvengada Ramanuja Pedda Jeeyar and his deputy Chinna Jeeyar.

Earlier, a series of special rituals had been held in the temple since dawn including Ekantha Thirumanjanam, Koluvu and Panchaga Sravanam to Lord Malayappa.

Later Lord Malayappa, flanked by his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi in a golden Tiruchi (palanquin), was taken out in procession along with Parivara devathas such as Anantha, Chakra, Garuda and Viswaksena, while the Dwajapatam preceded the cavalcade.

This event heralds the beginning of the nine-day pageantry. Mythology has it that Lord Garuda goes round the temple complex, inviting all heavenly bodies and Rishis to the festival which is performed by Lord Brahma himself. Dwajarohanam was followed by a procession of the golden Pedda Sesha Vahanam around the Mada streets.