Vaikunta (Mukkoti) Ekadasi festival was celebrated with traditional fervour amid restrictions to stem the spread of coronavirus at Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple in Dharmapuri, Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple in Vemulawada, and other major temples in the old undivided Karimnagar district on Thursday.
Many temples witnessed toned-down celebration of the annual religious events associated with the festival due to the ban on mass congregations, including social and religious gatherings and processions across the State, in view of COVID variant Omicron scare.
However, festive spirit remained high at all major shrines despite the COVID restrictions.
In Dharmapuri of Jagtial district, Uttara Dwara Darshanam, the sacred ritual, was organised by the temple priests in the presence of a limited gathering of essential staff, VIPs and others in the early hours of the day, sources said.
Minister for Social Welfare Koppula Eshwar, Collector G Ravi were among those who offered prayers at the temple on the occasion.
Devotees were allowed to have darshan of the temple deity soon after the main ritual in compliance with the COVID safety norms.
In Vemulawada of Rajanna-Sircilla district, Mukkoti Ekadasi related rituals, including Pallaki Seva, were organised internally in the temple complex early on Thursday morning.
In Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival was celebrated with spiritual aura in adherence to COVID safety norms internally at the historic Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple in Bhadrachalam.
The northern entrance of the 17th century temple was thrown open for darshan as part of the sacred Uttara Dwara Darshanam ritual amid chanting of Vedic hymns by the temple priests before the crack of dawn.
Devotees had darshan of the temple deity by following the face mask and other prescribed safety regulations later in the day.