No protocol darshan for Chandanotsavam at Simhachalam this year due to election code

The festival is scheduled to be organised on May 10, just three days ahead of election day in Andhra Pradesh; district officials told to ensure that code of conduct is diligently enforced

Published - April 11, 2024 07:18 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

A view of the centuries-old temple of Lord Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy atop the Simhachalam hill, in Visakhapatnam.

A view of the centuries-old temple of Lord Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy atop the Simhachalam hill, in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

There will be no protocol darshan for the annual festival of Chandanotsavam at the Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam this year owing to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for the general elections, District Collector A. Mallikarjuna said on Thursday.

The festival is scheduled to be organised on May 10, just three days ahead of election day in Andhra Pradesh. The Collector has instructed district officials to ensure that the code of conduct is enforced diligently, and to dispense with political protocols during the event.

“From 3.30 a.m. to 4.30 a.m., darshan will be availed by ‘Anuvamshika Dharmakarthas’, while ‘Pattu Vastras’ will be offered by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). Judges of the Supreme Court and High Court and donors will avail darshan during this time. After 4.30 a.m., there will not be any darshan in the ‘antharalayam’,” Mr. Mallikarjuna said at a review meeting attended by senior officials of the Police, GVMC Fire, APSRTC, and EPDCL departments.

Mr. Mallikarjuna directed the departments to make elaborate arrangements for the festival and to ensure that devotees are not inconvenienced. He instructed the Endowments Department to sell the festival tickets at banks across the city and to complete the procedure by May 6.

The darshan tickets will be priced at ₹300, ₹1,000 and ₹1,500, and should carry a hologram and watermark, he said, adding that those purchasing the ₹1,500 tickets will be allowed to have darshan from the ‘Neeladri Gummam’.

The 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. slot will be given to physically-challenged devotees, the Collector said.

“Keeping in view past experiences, the number of vehicles allowed atop the hillock should be considerably reduced. Police officials must come up with a detailed route map and ensure that there are no parking hassles,” the Collector said, advising the police department to arrange a control room and issue vehicle passes.

“APSRTC should ply adequate buses from the foothills to the temple. Drinking water and buttermilk should be provided to devotees in the queues and medical facilities should be doubled in number compared to last year,” he said.

Police Commissioner A. Ravi Shankar and GVMC Commissioner C.M. Saikanth Varma attended the review meeting.

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