On the auspicious day of Moola Nakshatram, the eighth day of the 11-day Dasara festivity, scores of devotees, including a large number of students, visited Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam atop Indrakeeladri in the city on Saturday.Goddess Kanakadurga Durga, the presiding deity, was adorned as ‘Saraswati Devi’, the goddess of knowledge, learning and wisdom.

Unfazed by the rain that lashed the city, devotees started making a beeline to have a darshan of the deity from 1 a.m. on Saturday. They continued to wait in the queue lines even as several spells of rain drenched them. Moola Nakshatram is considered auspicious among all the days of the festivity by the devotees, particularly students.

According to temple authorities, till 8 p.m. the number of devotees who visited the temple was around 1,84,000 which is much higher than the total devotees’ count on the recent days. More number of devotees are expected to visit the temple till night and officials are gearing up to handle the rush.

Traffic diverted

Meanwhile, traffic on all the roads leading to the temple was diverted through alternative routes. Prakasam Barrage, One-town flyover were closed for traffic.

Senior actor and Movie Artists Association president Rajendra Prasad was one among the public figures who visited the temple in the morning. VIPs were allowed to visit the temple between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. As on 7 p.m. as many as 32,148 devotees were served ‘Anna Prasadam’. On Sunday, goddess Kankadurga will be seen as Durga Devi and heavy rush of devotees is expected.

CM offers silk robes

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, along with wife Bhuvaneswari, offered silk robes to the presiding deity adorned as Saraswathi Devi. Speaking to media, Mr. Naidu said that he prayed the goddess to enrich the State with good harvest, development and completion of Polavaram project in time.

Musical festival

He said that an international musical festival would be conducted in Vijayawada in December. Minister for Endowments P. Manikyala Rao, Minister for Water Resources D. Umamaheswara Rao, MP Kesineni Srinivas, collector Babu A, and Commissioner of Police D. Gautam Sawang accompanied the Chief Minister.

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