ANDHRA PRADESH

Devotion marks Chandana Yatra

DIVINE SIGHT: A floral decoration of Lord Varaha Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy on the occasion of Chandana Yatra atop Simhachalam in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

DIVINE SIGHT: A floral decoration of Lord Varaha Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy on the occasion of Chandana Yatra atop Simhachalam in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Photo: K. R. Deepak

Staff Reporter

Only on this day the original form of the deity can be seen at Simhachalam

VISAKHAPATNAM: Thousands of devotees thronged the temple of Lord Varaha Lakshmi Nrusimha, the presiding deity of Simhachalam, to participate in the ‘Chandanotsavam’ or ‘Chandana Yatra’ celebrations on Thursday.

The annual event is the most important ritual in the spiritual calendar at Simhachalam.

It’s only on Chandanotsavam Day that the original form of the deity can be seen. All through the year, the idol is kept covered with sandal paste.

This, according to legend, is done to pacify the Lord and to keep Him cool as

He is in an aggressive mood after slaying the demon king Hiranyakashipu.

Outstation devotees

Devotees started arriving in large numbers from neighbouring Orissa State, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram as also from other parts of the State and country by Wednesday evening. Some of the rural folk were seen sleeping on the roadside near the bus stand.

Hereditary trustees

Former Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and his family members, who are the hereditary trustees of the temple, were the first to worship the Lord after the sandal covering was removed around 3.30 a.m. Executive Officer Ramachandra Mohan and the priests received them with temple honours.

To develop temple

Endowments Minister K. Ratnakara Rao, who was received by Endowments Commissioner Sundar Kumar and the temple Executive Officer , offered silk clothes and sandal paste to the deity on behalf of the government.

“We have plans to develop Simhachalam on the lines of Tirumala as part of the Divya Kshetram project for which Rs. 50 crore has already been released by the State government,” the Minister said.

Among the early VIPs who had darshan of the Lord were Police Commissioner N. Sambasiva Rao and MLA T. Gurumurthy Reddy.

Later, Director-General of Police S.S.P. Yadav and Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Kanumuri Bapiraju offered prayers.

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