About 3 lakh devotees had darshan of Goddess Kanakadurga till midnight on Sunday, on the eve of Mula Nakshatram, which was said to be the highest in the history of Durga temple, the police said.
A sea of devotees were seen atop Indrakeeladri, in the queue lines at Vinayaka temple and at Seetammavari Padalu. Expecting heavy rush, the temple and the police officials made elaborate arrangements.
Devotees from Telangana, Karnataka, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and other States visited Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devastanam in the last eight days during the ongoing Dasara Navarathri Utsavams.
With the officials lifting COVID restrictions at shrines, bus and railway stations and other public places, devotees thronged Kanakadurga temple in huge numbers. However, some devotees were seen wearing masks and taking COVID precautions at the temple.
‘Akshara Bhyasams’ were performed for children on Mula Nakshatram day. The Endowments Department officials distributed water and buttermilk packets and offered ‘prasadams’ to the devotees.
“With the rush increasing by every hour, we conducted meetings and reviewed the situation. Despite VIP visits, all the devotees had darshan of the deity on Mula Nakshatram day,” said a temple official.
Devotees were seen waiting in long queues till midnight to have darshan of the deity. The Revenue, Endowments and Police officials monitored the situation round-the-clock at the temple.
“We expected about 2 lakh rush on Mula Nakshatram day. But, there was unprecedented rush atop Indrakeeladri on Sunday, which was not seen in the last few years,” said a senior police officer, who is on bandobust duty at the devastanam.
“Darshanam of the deity was allowed till 1 a.m. instead of 12 a.m. The last devotee in the queue had a glimpse of the Goddess on Saraswathi Devi alankaram,” said West Zone Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) K. Hanumantha Rao.