Holy dip of it all

THE PUSHKARAMS to the Krishna, that recur once in 12 years, commence on August 28 when the planet Brihaspathi (Jupiter) enters the Kanya Rasi and the Krishna river shines in all its glory in the presence of `Pushkarudu' during the Pushkaram days up to September 8.

Pushkarams are celebrated in only 12 rivers, which are unique among the innumerable rivers in the country, basing on the transit of Brihaspathi into various rasis (zodiac signs). Much significance is attached to the Pushkarams as the holy scriptures enjoin that people should have a holy dip in the Krishna, offer charity and perform oblations to gods in memory of their ancestors.

The Krishna, originating as a fountain from the south of a Nandi icon in the ancient Lord Mahadev temple, near Mahabaleswar in Maharashtra, enters the State near Krishnanagar in Mahabubnagar district and meanders through Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Kurnool, Guntur and Krishna, traversing a length of 708 km in the State, before merging into the Bay of Bengal at Etimoga and Hamsaladeevi in Krishna district.

Nearly three crore pilgrims are expected to take a holy dip in the river during the Pushkarams. The last Pushkarams was held from September 9, 1992, to September 22, 1992, when 1.25 lakh pilgrims took the dip. Pilgrims perform religious rites such as `pinda pradanam,' Ganga puja, `Sariganga snanam,' `Moosi vayanam,' `Lavana danam,' etc.

Most pilgrims from Cuddapah district throng Srisailam to take the holy dip and offer prayers at Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy temple. Those proceeding to Hyderabad could have a holy dip at Beechpalle in Mahabubnagar district, along the National Highway No. 18.

Pilgrims are also expected to take a holy dip in KC Canal, which got substantial inflows of Krishna water. Important temples in the district are sprucing up with colourful illumination, expecting pilgrims passing by from near and far-off places.

By M.V. Subramanyam

in Cuddapah