Andhra Pradesh

Sirimanotsavam draws huge crowds in Vizianagaram

Keeping tradition alive: Chief priest Bantupalli Byraginaidu blessing devotees from atop the Sirimanu during the festival, in Vizianagaram on Tuesday.

Keeping tradition alive: Chief priest Bantupalli Byraginaidu blessing devotees from atop the Sirimanu during the festival, in Vizianagaram on Tuesday.  

The annual event is being conducted for the last 261 years without a break

Hundreds of thousands of devotees attended the Sirimanotsavam procession in Vizianagaram on Tuesday.

The annual festival — a landmark event for the town — has been conducted here every year for the last 261 years since its inception in 1758. Devotees congregate to witness the Sirimanu, a replica of the presiding deity Sri Pyditalli Ammavaru, being carried in a procession from the Three Lamps Junction to Fort Junction.

Chief priest Bantupalli Byraginaidu blessed devotees from atop the Sirimanu, a long wooden stick which rises to a height of 60 feet.

The procession began at around 3.50 pm and went on till 5.26 pm. The weather was also favourable, resulting in a large turnout.

Streets jam-packed

All streets leading to the Fort Junction were jam-packed as the city witnessed a higher turnout in comparison to last year. While the festival went off smoothly, some pilgrims said that they had to walk for a long distance as parking places were set up at Ring Road Junction and Ayodhya Maidan.

Traffic restrictions were also imposed starting from the early hours of Tuesday in order to enable smooth conduct of the festival.

Legend

Legend has it that in 1757, king Pusapati Vijayarama Gajapati Raju of Vizianagaram was killed by Bobbili army general Tandra Paparayudu. Vijayarama Raju’s sister Pydimamba, on hearing of her brother’s death, ended her life by jumping into the Peda Cheruvu vowing to guard the town of Vizianagaram in the years to come.

Pydimamba has since been worshipped by locals as Goddess Pyditalli.

Irrespective of political affiliation, public representatives cutting across party lines participate in the festival. Ministers Botcha Satyanarayana and Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao witnessed the Sirimanotsavam from a designated place in the Vizianagaram Fort which is located in the heart of the town. Temple trustee and former Union Minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju’s daugther Aditi Gajapathi Raju, former TDP MLAs K.A. Naidu, Bhanjdev and others observed the entire Utsavam from the VIP gallery. Vizianagaram Collector M. Hari Jawaharlal and Superintendent of Police B. Rajakumari coordinated the arrangements.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:33:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/sirimanotsavam-draws-huge-crowds-in-vizianagaram/article29694308.ece

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