Kurnool: Thousands of devotees witnessed the ‘Rathotsavam’ celebrations held at Srisailam on Saturday as part of Sivarathri festival. The rituals started with the taking out processional deities in a palanquin to the temple chariot amid chanting of Vedic hymns.

The chariot was drawn by the devotees from the main ‘Gopuram’ of the temple to Nandi Circle and back. The officials heaved a sigh of relief with the conclusion of the Sivarathri festival without any untoward incident. It used to be a nightmarish experience to come out of the temple town immediately after the Sivarathri festival.

All vehicles which were home-bound in the early hours after Sivarathri usually led to traffic chaos on the Srisailam ghat road.

District Superintendent of Police (SP) Ake Ravi Krishna personally took part in the traffic management and guided the police officials at various points on the ghat road. The incoming vehicles were regulated.

More staff was deployed after the festival to clear off the traffic this time. Usually, the police withdrew after the festival leaving only skeleton staff, who takes charge of the situation. The conscious efforts of the police provided great relief to home bound pilgrims.