Surge in pilgrim rush today likely

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Set for grand finale: Hamsa Vahanam, which will be used for the celestial boat ride of goddess Kanakadurga and her consort on Vijayadasami day, being readied at Durga ghat in Vijayawada. —
Set for grand finale: Hamsa Vahanam, which will be used for the celestial boat ride of goddess Kanakadurga and her consort on Vijayadasami day, being readied at Durga ghat in Vijayawada. —

Staff Reporter

Officials on toes ahead of Rosaiah’s visit to the temple

‘Moola Nakshatram’ day coincides with Friday

Collector reviews arrangements for CM’s visit

VIJAYAWADA: The district administration and the officials of Sri Durga Malleswara Swamivarla Devasthanam have geared up to deal with the likely surge in pilgrim rush on Indrakeeladri on the auspicious ‘Moola Nakshatram’ day on Friday, when Chief Minister K. Rosaiah too will have a darshan of the goddess decked up as Saraswati Devi.

The Devasthanam authorities have decided to keep open the temple from 3 a.m. to meet the expected rush. The devotees will have an opportunity for uninterrupted darshan up to 8 a.m. on Saturday. As the auspicious day coincided with Friday, the temple authorities are expecting a couple of lakhs of pilgrims to visit the temple and are making arrangements accordingly. In the run up to Mr. Rosaiah’s visit to the temple to present the customary silk saree to the goddess on behalf of the State government, the police conducted a trial run to fine tune the security arrangements.

Krishna District Collector Peeyush Kumar, who reviewed the arrangements for the Chief Minister’s visit, asked the officials to ensure that the pilgrims were not put to any inconvenience because of the VIP’s visit. There would be an increase in the pilgrim rush in the last three days of the Navaratri festivities, he cautioned, and asked the officials to take steps to maintain sanitation at the bathing ghats and on the hillock. He wanted them to continue the awareness campaign on swine flu and keep sufficient number of masks available.

Vijayawada Sub-Collector B.L. Chennakesava Rao undertook another review and announced that special vehicles to ferry senior citizens and the physically challenged on to the hillock would not be available on Friday and Saturday in view of the possible rush of pilgrims. He advised pilgrims coming from distant places to make better use of the shower bath facility available at Padmavathi ghat opposite Pandit Nehru Bus Station. On Thursday too there was no significant increase in the turnout of pilgrims, and it took just about 30 minutes for those going through the 3-km-long free darshan queue line to have a darshan of the goddess, who was decked up as ‘Sri Mahalakshmi Devi’. Special poojas and ‘Nakshatra Harathi’ were performed in Bhavani Deeksha Mandapam.

Except during morning hours, there was not much rush in the temple and the barricades wore a deserted look for most of the time. The scenario was much the same at bathing ghats.

MLA creates flutter

Tanuku MLA K. Nageswara Rao created a flutter late in the evening, when he walked out of the temple after expressing his anger over the officials for not making arrangements for him to have a darshan of the goddess.

A person who impersonated as journalist was caught by the photojournalists and handed over to the police. The One-Town police recovered his fake identity card and were questioning him.

The arrangements for Teppotsavam, the celestial boat ride of the goddess and her consort in the Krishna on the Vijaya Dasami day, are nearing completion. A special boat is being decorated in swan shape with illumination at the Durga ghat.



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