Lakhs of devotees arrive in large numbers to offer prayers and perform puja

The ancient and historic Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy devasthanam in Vemulawada of Karimnagar district reverberated with the chanting of “om namah shivaya” and “hara hara mahadeva” on the auspicious occasion of Mahasivaratri festival on Sunday.

Lakhs of devotees arrived in large numbers for the festival since Saturday to the temple shrine and offer prayers to Lord Shiva.

People took a holy dip in the holy tank (dharma gundam) and formed serpentine queues for the darshan of the presiding deities.

The devotees also formed queues to offer the traditional “kode mokku” (tying of an ox) around the temple as an offering.

Silk vastrams

As part of the tradition, Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD) JEO Srinivas Raju along with other priests presented silk vastrams to the presiding deities at the temple. Similarly, on behalf of the State government, Government Whip Arepalli Mohan, Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar and KDCCB chairman K. Ravinder Rao presented silk vastrams to the deities amid a traditional welcome by the temple priests.

Karimnagar range DIG R. Bheema Naik and Superintendent of Police V. Ravinder also visited the temple shrine and reviewed the security arrangements. Following the removal of VIP darshan, the devotees had a comfortable darshan without any hindrance during the festival.

Similarly, the devotees celebrated the Mahasivaratri festival with religious fervour and devotion across the district including the main temples of Sri Kaleshwara Muktheeshwara Swamy devasthanam in Kaleshwaram, Koti Lingala devasthanam, Dubba Rajanna and other shrines in the district.

In Karimnagar town, the Shiva temples at Old Bazaar, Bhagathnagar and other localities were packed with devotees since the early hours to participate in the rituals of abhishekhams etc.

Thousands of devotees thronged Vana Durgabhavani temple located at this village in the midst of the stream of River Manjeera in Medak district on Sunday on the occasion of Sivaratri.

Long queues were seen from morning onwards and devotees came from far off places like Nizamabad, Hyderabad and neighbouring Karnataka.

The rush is expected to be much more on Monday and Tuesday as the devotees come here after performing ‘jagarana’ on Sunday night.

Government Whip T. Jayaprakash Reddy along with his family members presented a ‘kiratam’ and ‘kanthabaranam’ to the Goddess worth Rs. 30 lakh. Former legislator P. Shashidhar Reddy welcomed Mr. Jayaprakash Reddy.

Former Minister P. Subhaschandra Bose also visited the temple and offered prayers. Collector A. Dinakarbabu along with senior officials visited the temple and supervised the arrangements.

In view of the recent incidents at Hyderabad, heavy police security was deployed at the temple and all devotees are being checked before entering the temple. Metal detectors were erected especially for the purpose.

Ketaki Sangameswara temple located at Jarasangam also witnessed a heavy rush of pilgrims from morning onwards.

The devotees are taking a holy dip at ‘Amrita gundam (holy tank)’ located in the premises of the temple before offering prayers at the temple.

Bardipur Dattagiri Ashram has been observing a 24 hour non-stop recitation of ‘Shiva’ beginning from Sunday morning. Jyothirlinga puja and shivalingarchana were performed with rudrabhishekam.

All Saivite temples in the district were crowded with devotees on the occasion of Sivaratri on Sunday.

Tens and thousands of devotees including women, children and old people alike thronged the temples since early morning while shouting “Hara Hara Mahadeva Shambo Sankara”.

The famous Kanteswar temple and Shambuni gudi were decorated with serial lighting as usual on this important day.

The temple committees made all arrangements for the convenience of the visiting devotees. The Rotary Club of Nizamabad supplied drinking water packets to them as it took a lot of time for devotees to enter the temples.

Long queues were seen before the Kanteswar temple and the Shambunigudi and lines touched chowrastas on roads at Kanteswar and Nehru Park. It being a Sunday and also a festival day, traffic was sparse on the roads.