Two pilgrims were killed and four others injured when heavy rain and hailstorm lashed Vontimitta town in Kadapa district on Friday night. The tragedy occurred when tin sheets of sheds put up near the Vontimitta temple for performing Sitarama kalyanam fell on the pilgrims.
The bad weather forced Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his wife Bhuvaneswari to stay put in the Roads and Buildings guest house at Kadapa from 6.15 p.m. to 8.15 p.m. They finally managed to reach the venue at 9.15 p.m.
Mr. Naidu presented silk clothes, gold ornaments and mutayala talambralu on behalf of the State government to Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy and Sita Devi, a few minutes before the scheduled sumuhurtam of the celestial wedlock.
The couple were received by TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal.
As tin sheets of sheds outside the historic temple were blown away, pilgrims ran helter skelter. A pilgrim M. Chinnaiah of Badvel Harijanawada and Vengaiah of Kammavaripalle in Porumamilla were killed when sheets fell on them.
A woman suffered a heart attack near the annadanam shed and three others who suffered injuries were rushed to hospitals.
Despite the heavy rainfall, TTD priests performed the kalyanotsavam with religious fervour. The temple glittered in colourful lights and the kalyanotsavam altar was decorated with flowers and fruits.
Three coconuts specially decorated with the names of Sri Rama, Sita Devi and Namam, which were brought from East Godavari district, were placed in front of the presiding deities.
Earlier, the presiding deities were taken round on Sri Hanumath vahanam, as men and women pilgrims played kolatam ahead.
Earlier, the Sri Rama idol was decorated in Mohini alankaram and carried in a palanquin by priests.
About 1,300 Srivari Sevaks and 800 Scouts were deployed to assist the pilgrims.