ANDHRA PRADESH

Rush of Bhavanis peaks atop Indrakeeladri

A young Bhavani Deeksha devotee getting help from her father in having darshan of goddess Kanakadurga in Vijayawada on Saturday.

A young Bhavani Deeksha devotee getting help from her father in having darshan of goddess Kanakadurga in Vijayawada on Saturday.  

Staff Reporter

Traffic police step in to restore order

VIJAYAWADA: The temple of goddess Kanakadurga on Indrakeeladri witnessed a huge rush even on Saturday, two days after the conclusion of Dasara festivities, with thousands of devotees reaching the temple to relinquish ‘Bhavani Deeksha.’

The pilgrims began reaching the city from the early hours of the day in tourist buses, lorries and cars.

There was a heavy rush of pilgrims at all bathing ghats from the early hours of the day and it continued till afternoon.

The employees of different government departments, who were deputed to officiate during the 10-day Dasara festivities for various special duties at the temple and bathing ghats, continued their task in view of the continuing rush of pilgrims. The stretch of the highway from Bhavanipuram to Krishnalanka turned into a temporary shelter and dwelling place for the thousands of pilgrims who had come to give up ‘Bhavani Deeksha.’

Leaving their vehicles on roadside, the pilgrims reached bathing ghats and the temple in hordes and on return had their lunch in the vehicles.

As a result, regular traffic moved at a snail’s pace on this stretch and the traffic police intervened frequently to clear the traffic jams.

Due to the heavy rush, it took at least three hours for those who opted for free darshan to get their turn in the serpentine queue.

Focussing on clearing the queue, the temple authorities decided not to allow pilgrims into the ‘antaralayam’ (sanctum sanctorum).

But the queue grew only longer with hundreds of pilgrims joining it by every passing hour. By the evening, the queue reached the bottom of the hillock on the national highway.

Except a few VIP vehicles, no other vehicle was allowed on to the hillock.

There was a long queue at the temple salon, where large number of pilgrims waited for their turn to offer their hair.

As the Dasara festivities concluded, the staff of Sri Durga Malleswara Swamivarla Devasthanam commenced counting of the ‘hundis’ on Saturday afternoon.

Pilgrims offered cash, gold jewellery and silver ornaments to the goddess during the festivities, besides sarees and bangles.

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