Ganga Jatara draws huge crowd despite deferral

The annual folk festival originally scheduled from May 7 to 15, gets postponed by a week due to Assembly and general elections on May 13; the festival takes off to a grand start on May 14

Updated - May 16, 2024 09:16 pm IST

Published - May 16, 2024 08:06 pm IST - TIRUPATI

TTD Chairman and MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, along with his family members, carry the sacred ‘Saarey’ to be offered at Thathayagunta Gangamma temple in Tirupati on Thursday. Member of Parliament M. Gurumoorthy is also seen (Right extreme).

TTD Chairman and MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, along with his family members, carry the sacred ‘Saarey’ to be offered at Thathayagunta Gangamma temple in Tirupati on Thursday. Member of Parliament M. Gurumoorthy is also seen (Right extreme). | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Devotees started pouring in large numbers into the Thathayagunta Gangamma temple, situated in the heart of the temple city, to offer prayers during the ongoing annual folk festival ‘Ganga Jatara’.

It is for the first time in the history of the centuries-old temple that the annual folk festival, which was scheduled from May 7 to 15, was postponed by a week and began on May 14, as the elections were scheduled for May 13 when 144 Section would be imposed. The postponement of the festivals by nearly a week was widely perceived as the Goddess giving way for the smooth conduct of the elections.

The folk festival is meant to appease the ‘Grama Devatha’ (village deity). The nine-day event comprises devotees donning various guises, smearing colours all over their bodies, and staging processions on the streets around the temple.

As part of the festival, the TTD trust board Chairman and local MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy offered ‘Saarey’, a set of gift items including silk sari, glass bangles, turmeric and vermilion, to the Goddess.

Accompanied by his son and MLA candidate Bhumana Abhinay Reddy, his brother and TTD’s Sri Venkateswara Employees Training Academy (SVETA) Director Bhumana Subramanyam Reddy and Member of Parliament Maddila Gurumoorthy, Mr. Karunakar Reddy walked 2 km from his residence to the temple.

Women carrying the statuettes of ‘Nava Durgas’ accompanied the entourage, adding spiritual fervour to the procession.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Karunakar Reddy recalled his efforts in taking up repairs, renovation and consecration of the temple last year.

“The Goddess is revered as the younger sister of Lord Venkateswara, and we, the natives of Tirupati, believe that She is the bestower of fortunes and conduct this annual festival,” he said.

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