MYSORE: A sea of humanity witnessed the Vardhanti celebrations of Goddess Chamundeshwari on Thursday, which marked the birthday of the deity in accordance with religious beliefs.
It is an annual affair that draws people from far and wide.
At the crack of dawn, the pilgrims progress to the Chamundi Hills to catch a glimpse of the presiding deity of Mysore and participate in the religious procession in which the “utsava murthy” (a replica of the main idol) is taken around the temple in a duly decorated palanquin.
The celebrations this year were significant as it preceded the last of the Ashada Shukravara in the Hindu almanac, which is believed to be auspicious for the goddess. This year, what was remarkable was the immaculate arrangements made by the district administration to cope with the rush of devotees visiting the hills. “We never had such a crowd about four or five years ago. But the growing popularity of Chamundi Hills as a place of religious and tourist interest has resulted in an unprecedented surge of people since the last two or three years,” said a temple official.
A group of voluntary workers had camped here the previous night to prepare “prasada” for the devotees while special services were operated by the KSRTC from all over Mysore and surrounding regions.
The arrangements will be in place to mark the last Friday of the Ashadha month when the crowd is expected to swell further. A significant number of devotees who visited the hills on Thursday evening expressed their desire to stay back overnight to beat the Friday rush.
The temple and the surroundings witnessed tremendous activity.