Lord Siva temples in East Godavari district as also in the city reverberated with chants of ‘Om Namah Sivaya’, ‘Hara Hara Mahadeva’, as thousands of devotees thronged them on the auspicious occasion of Mahasivaratri on Sunday.
The Pushkar Ghat in the city witnessed heavy rush, as devotees took a holy dip in the Godavari before having darshan of the Lord at Uma Ramalingeswara Swami temple in Jampeta and Kotilingala temple.
The Chaya Someswara temple at Kotipallirevu and Kasi Visveswara temple near Ramachandrapuram also witnessed heavy rush.
There was hectic activity at the Kotilingala temple with devotees thronging it right from early hours of the day. The police, temple committee members, and volunteers managed the crowd in long queues.
At Uma Ramalingeswara Swami temple, people had to wait for three to four hours to have darshan of the Lord. Special security was in place at the ghats to prevent any untoward incident. Traders in the city arranged prasadam pandals for devotees.
At the Draksharama Siva temple, one of the oldest temples in the State, the festivities commenced in the early hours at about 2.30 a.m. Being one of the Pancharama Kshetras, devotees thronged it in large numbers. The speciality here is that the Siva lingam is the tallest. Temple EO K.N.V.D.V. Prasad said a week-long festival was organised this year with special ‘agama poojas’ and devotional and cultural programmes.
It was a practice since the British time for Revenue Divisional Officer of Rajahmundry, under which Kotipalli Chaya Someswara Swami temple falls, to light ‘Koti Deeparadhana’ and it was observed as government notified festival.
Sivaratri is a special occasion in the Konaseema area, particularly in mandals nearer to Kotipalli. The Chaya Someswara Swami temple in the region attracted some one lakh devotees so far, said EO Bulusu Ramakrishna Murthy.
Executive Officer of Kukkuteswaraswami temple in Pithapuram said there was unexpected crowd this year from all over the district and neighbouring West Godavari. There was a special ‘abhishekam’. Temple chairman D. Venkateswara Rao and chief priest K. Nooka Raju were supervising the arrangements.
Thousands of devotees thronged Bhadrakali Sametha Muramalla Veereswara Swami temple where ‘Nitya Kalyanam’ is performed to Lord Siva and Parvati.
Kumararama Bheemeswara temple in Samalkot is also popular as the Lord here gives darshan in the form of Yogalinga. Yedida Sangameswara temple in I. Polavaram mandal, Bandarulanka Trayambakeswara Swami, Amalapuram Chenna Malleswaraswami temples are also popular in the district.
Thousands of devotees thronged temples of Lord Siva. The devotee rush began from the early hours of the day. People waited in long queues at famous temples at Padagaya in Pithapuram and Bheemeswara temple at Samalkot.
The Turangeswara temple at Turangi and the Siva temple at Chollangi on the city outskirts, the Sivalayam at Ramaraopeta in the city witnessed huge turnout.
Temples like Bhanu Gudi in the city started selling special darshan tickets on the occasion.
Heavy police deployment was made at all the famous temples to ensure peaceful celebration of the festival.