People from over 200 villages in the neighbouring mandals witness the event
The Rathotsavam of the famous Nirmamaheswara swamy temple was held in a grand manner on marking the conclusion of the annual Mahasivaratri festival at Podili town in Prakasam district on Monday.
The colourfully decorated chariot of Lord Siva with his consort Parvathi devi rolled on the main streets of the town, known in ancient times as Prudhilapuri as pious people pulled it continuing the religious tradition from the times of Venkatagiri rajas.
Tens of thousands of people from far and near poured into the town to seek the blessings of Lord Siva .
Chants of ‘Om Namahsivaya’ rented the air as the giant wheels of the chariot rolled on at 1.45 p.m. A large number of women devotees exclusively pulled the chariot for some distance. Youth burst crackers as the temple car passed through the narrow stretches in the town.
“The festival stands as a symbol of communal harmony with participation of people cutting across religious lines”, explained Temple Devasthanam Chairman Y. Seshagiri Rao while taking his turn to pull the chariot.
Artistes dressed like gods and goddesses were the cynosure of all eyes.
People from over 200 villages in the neighbouring mandals of Maripudi, Darsi, Konakonamitla and Donakonda attended the Radhotsavam to propitiate Lord Someswara.
The celestial couple’s marriage was performed earlier in the day after “Lingodbhava kala” pooja .
Ongole MLA Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, former MLA K. P. Konda Reddy, Podili Agriculture Market Committee chairman B. Ramana Reddy were among those who took part in the event.
Timber merchant Samanthapudi Nageswara Rao had built the massive chariot at a cost of Rs. 40 lakhs last year after the old one developed snag.
Temple Executive Officer Katta Prasad supervised the smooth conduct of the Rathotsavam along with Podili Circle Inspector I. K.Venkateswara Rao.