Teppotsavam: Processional idols kept in police station

A view of One Town Police Station where processional deity of Kanaka Durga atop Indrakeeladri will be kept after Teppotsavam on Vijaya Dasamai day in Vijayawada. Photo: V. Raju   | Photo Credit: V_RAJU;V_RAJU

Believe it or not! The Utsava Vigraham, processional idol, of the presiding deity of Indrakeeladri is not moved back into the temple after conducting Teppotsavam on Vijaya Dasami.

Instead, it is shifted to One Town police station and kept there for the whole night. Probably no other temple in the State has such a fascinating feature.

The policemen, during Dasara, gear up not just for maintaining Law and Order or traffic management. Festivities begin at One Town police station on par with Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam. The police station is spruced up for the festival like any other household for the festival. Temple authorities and police officials merely say that “it has been a practice since the British rule.”

Police officials compete to get posted in One Town police station for the privilege of safeguarding the Utsava Vigraham as well as commencing the ritual, which is vested with a sub-inspector under whose jurisdiction the temple is located. During the British regime, a police official used to break a coconut and commence the festival. The tradition was clearly mentioned in the Endowments Gazette published in 1930 that the SI of One Town police station would break the coconut, say police officials.

The tradition took such deep roots that the local people used to stop for a while and do ‘ namaskaram’ to the police station, says police officers like Hanumantha Rao, who worked in One Town police station.

The tradition continued smoothly till 1997, when the temple officials and the police came to loggerheads, with each insisting that it was their right to break the first coconut. The temple officials maintained that it was a temple ritual and, hence, the executive officer should get the first chance. The police negated this saying it was against the tradition.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 2:06:19 PM |

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