Devotees carry as many as 10 prabhas measuring over 40 feet in height

Over three lakh devotees took a holy dip in the four bathing ghats in the Krishna of Vijayawada on the auspicious day of Mahasivaratri on Sunday. Heavy crowds were witnessed at Durga and Bhavani bathing ghats upstream of Prakasam Barrage, Padmavathi and Seethammavari padhalu bathing ghats downstream the barrage.

Thousands of devotees went up the Indrakeeladri to have darshan of Durga-Malleswara Swamy.

A procession was taken out with the traditional ‘prabhalu’ in Yenamalkudru village. According to the legend 1,000 sages worshipped Lord Siva, who is in the form of a Linga atop the Yenamalakudur hillock, which has a breathtaking view of the Krishna.

Abhishekam was performed to the sivalingam at the Malleswaraswamy temple on Indrakeeladri Hill, the old Sivalayam temple, where Dharmaraju, the eldest of the Pandavas, performed puja, and at the Vijayeswara Swamy Temple where Arjuna performed puja before taking up the penance for the “Pasupathaastram”.

The Lingodbhavam and Siva-paravati Kalyanam were also performed in siva temples from midnight till early in the morning. All devotees chanted the panchakshara mantra staying awake through the night. Heavy crowds were witnessed at the Kasi Vishwaswara temple near Challapalli Bungalow, Sivaramakrishna Kshetram on BRTS Road, Ramalingeswara Swamy temple at Yenamalakuduru and at the Parvati Ramalingeswara Swamy Temple in Mougalrajpuram. Decorated Prabhas – chariots -- were brought to Yenamalakuduru.

Huge turnout

A huge turnout of devotees at many abodes of Siva-Sri Trikoteswara Swamy Devastanam at Kotappakonda, Sri Amareswara Swamy Temple in Amaravathi and other temples at Govada and Pedakakani marked the Mahasivarathri.

Chanting “Hara Hara Maho deva”, an estimated 7 lakh devotees thronged Kotappakonda and the surge of devotees peaked towards evening and the evening sky was a riot of colour as long, illuminated ‘prabhas,’ dotted the skyline. Devotees carried as many as 10 prabhas measuring over 40 feet height.

Thanks to a well coordinated approach towards managing the huge crowds, the day passed off without any untoward incident. With most of the devotees on fast, the police ensured that they had a hassle free trek up the ghat road.

Festivities during the previous years were marred by protests by devotees over poor arrangements but the governmental agencies appeared to prepare better this time.

Non Governmental Organisations vied with each other to distribute drinking water sachets and butter milk to the devotees who turned up in a large number on a hot day.

Minister for Cooperation Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy offered ‘silk clothes,’ to the presiding deity.

The State Government has allotted Rs.40 lakh for the festival after declaring it as state festival.

The ‘mela,’ held on the foot hills has over 3 lakh people converging. They witnessed special musical and dance programmes organized by the district administration and as has been the practice for some years, ‘recording dances,’ were not allowed.

The police bandobust was organised in an effective manner with Superintendent of Police, Guntur Rural. J. Satyanarayana camping for two successive nights. Inspector General of Police Ravi Verma was also present.

Among the prominent persons who turned up at Kotappakonda were, Ministers Basavarraju Saraiah, Kanna Lakshminarayana, M.P , Modugula Vengopala Reddy, MLAs P. Pulla Rao and G.V.S.R. Anjaneyulu.

The temple town of Amaravathi home to Amarewara Swamy Temple also witnessed heavy rush as more than 75,000 people visited the temple. Men and women took the holy bath in the Krishna in the early hours before visiting the temple.

A large number of eateries, shops selling decorative pieces or some plastic ware were set up on the temple premises.

  • According to the legend 1,000 sages worshipped Lord Siva atop the Yenamalakudur hillock

  • Police ensure that the devotees have a hassle free trek up the ghat road