ANDHRA PRADESH

YSR visit hits pilgrim turnout

Staff Reporter

Lifeguards engaged at bathing ghats



Despite regulations, a few vendors manage to make money

Over 200 NSS volunteers help the devotees



VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s visit to Kanakadurga temple seems to have a negative impact on the pilgrim turnout on the second day of Dasara festival on Saturday. There was not much pilgrim rush atop Indrakeeladri and queues moved swiftly during the day, expect for a couple of hours in the morning, when Dr. Reddy visited the temple.

The goddess was adorned in the form of Bala Tripura Sundari Devi who was sitting on a lotus and giving ‘abhayam’ (protection) to devotees.

Many ‘Ubhayadaatas,’ who visited the temple on the first day, did not turn up on the second day.

The reception centre near Asoka pillar witnessed a long queue of pilgrims, with many people preferred to go to the temple on special vehicles meant for the aged and the disabled.

The police made repeated announcements that the vehicles were strictly for the aged and the disabled and others were not allowed to board them.

Safety measures

The makeshift pilgrim amenities centre Kanakadurga Nagar looked deserted in the morning hours.

However, there was an increase in the rush by evening.

Lifeguards were engaged at bathing ghats, where many pilgrims took the holy dip before visiting the temple.

Despite regulations by the police, a few vendors managed to make money by doing brisk business selling coconuts and other puja material. Besides the police, over 200 volunteers of the National Service Scheme helped the devotees on their pilgrimage. They assisted the aged and the disabled people to have a darshan of the goddess.

A few pilgrims expressed dissatisfaction over the quality of ‘prasadam’ being sold through counters.

Those who bought ‘pulihora’ in the afternoon complained that the taste was bad.

The Devasthanam officials were expecting an increase in pilgrim turnout from Sunday onwards.

Temple Executive Officer S. Chandrasekhara Azad said that it was a common phenomenon that the rush would be increased only from the third day onwards.

He said that there would be no dearth of laddu prasadam.

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