Staff Reporter

Thousands of devotees visit Bara Shaheed Dargah to offer prayers

NELLORE: The three-day annual Rottela Panduga, a festival of rotis, concluded at Bara Shaheed Dargah here on Thursday with thousands of devotees, especially women from different faiths across the country, taking part in the religious event.

The festival, which began on the 11th day of Moharram, January 30, had attracted devotees from different countries, including Gulf countries, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

They offered prayers at the dargah, a mausoleum of 12 martyrs. They took bath in a nearby Nellore tank before leaving rotis near the tank in lieu of their fulfilled prayers while those with similar desires picked them up. The exchange of rotis continued round the clock during the festival.

Those whose wishes were granted brought two rotis along with them as part of the thanks giving ceremony. One roti was offered to the God while the other one was given to someone who was making a similar wish.

Moreover, wish-seekers identified those followers whose wishes had been granted and requested them to eat wish-fulfilling rotis, which were named after specific desires such as `vivaha' (marriage), `sowbhagya' (prosperity), `santana' (progeny), `vidya' (education), `dhana' (money) and jobs .

The annual event was being observed on the sidelines of Moharram in the memory of 12 martyrs, who laid down their lives in a sacred war for the sake of communal harmony.

The dargah came up at the same place, where their mortal remains were buried.

The religious event, which began with women applying sandalwood paste as per the wish of the martyrs for three days, had transformed into a festival of rotis.

And the number of followers had been increasing year-by-year, as the dargah was believed to have been fulfilling wishes of the devotees.