Devotees chant ‘Hara Hara Mahadev' on the banks of the Godavari

Chants of ‘Hara Hara Mahadev' rented the air on the banks of the Godavari and at the temples of Lord Siva on Monday on the occasion of Maha Sivaratri. Thousands of devotees thronged the Pushkara Ghat to have a holy dip in the Godavari and have a darshan of Lord Siva in the temples of Uma Ramalingeswara Swami, Koti Lingala Siva, and Kasi Visweswara.

Kotilingala temple witnessed a maximum number of devotees from early hours and a large number of volunteers, police, and temple committee members tried their best to control the crowed. Special security was arranged at the ghats to avoid any untoward incident. Uma Ramalingeswara Swami temple in Jampeta also saw serpentine queues and people had to wait three to four hours for darshan. Rajahmundry wore a festive look and most of the business houses arranged ‘prasadam' pandals for devotees.

At Draksharama, which is one of the oldest temples in the State, the large idol of Lord Siva attracts lakhs of devotees. Temple committee Executive Officer K.N.V.D.V. Prasad said the week-long festival was planned differently this year. The couple of TTD Chairman Kanumuri Bapiraju, Rajahmundry SP P. Umapati, and other VIPs visited the temple.

Sivaratri is a special occasion for entire Konaseema area of East Godavari district, particularly those mandals which are nearer to Kotipalli.

According to its Executive Officer Bulusu Ramakrishna Murhty, about one lakh devotees have a darshan on Sivaratri day.

The South Central Railways operated a special train with 14 bogies and the RTC plied a number of buses for Kotipalli Theertham (temple festival). Collector M. Ravichandra, SP Trivikram Varma, MLA Pilli Subashchandra Bose, RDO M. Venugopala Reddy, DEO R.S. Gangabhavani, CEO Bhavanidas, Kakinada Municipal Commissioner Ravi Kumar had a darshan of Someswara Swami.

One of the oldest temples in the district are Sri Kukkuteswara Swami and Sri Rajarajeswari temples in Pithapuram.

Festive look

All the Siva temples in Srikakulam district wore a festive look on the occasion of Maha Sivaratri on Monday. Special pujas and ‘rudrabhisekhams' were performed at various temples. Thousands of devotees thronged Srimukhalingam temple, one of the oldest Siva temples in the district. Devotees offered special prayers to the God after having a holy bath in the Vamsadhara river.

Authorities of various temples, including Umarudra Koteswara temple, Bhimeswara temple, Shiva Balaji temple of Bankers' Colony, Sri Endala Mallikarjuna Swamy temple of Tekkali, made elaborate arrangements in view of the rush.