ANDHRA PRADESH

Ayyappa devotees gear up for ‘deeksha’

Season special: Stores selling puja material and special dress for Ayyappa devotees are doing brisk business with the commencement of ‘Mandalam Deeksha’.

Season special: Stores selling puja material and special dress for Ayyappa devotees are doing brisk business with the commencement of ‘Mandalam Deeksha’.   | Photo Credit: - PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

Staff Reporter

Hyderabad: Clad in the ubiquitous black dress, walking barefoot and braving the chill weather, Ayyappa devotees are making their presence felt with the commencement of the ‘Mandalam Deeksha’ (penance period) from November 16 this year.

In tune with commencement of the season, traders dealing in garments are decking up their stores with black shirts, trousers, “kanduvas” and other accessories. Shops offering puja articles, particularly those at Chikkadpally, Dilsukhnagar, Monda Market, Ameerpet and Kukatpally have started making brisk business. With garment prices going up by nearly 15 per cent and the cascading effect of global meltdown, one expected its impact on the business during Ayyappa season but the business is slowly picking up, says P. Sangeetha of Rajarani Garments at Chikkadpally. Travel and tourism operators who operate exclusive pilgrimage tours to Sabarimala echo the same. Generally, enquiries and bookings are made after December 1 but this year it has commenced much ahead, promising good business, says Santosh of Sri Saradamba Travels at Amberpet.

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