VIJAYAWADA: The three-day annual ‘Shakambari Utsavam’ concluded at Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam atop Indrakeeladri Hill on Sunday. Rush of devotees was significantly high on the third day, as the conclusion of the festival coincided with the auspicious Guru Purnima. Around 60,000 devotees sought the blessings of Goddess Kanaka Durga on the third day of the festival. The temple authorities decorated the presiding deity with a variety of fruits and vegetables on the last day and conducted special pujas.

Besides the regular laddu prasadam, devotees were offered Kadambam prasadam made of vegetables. ‘Purnahuti’ was performed at Yagasala near Nataraja Swamy temple on the hill to mark the conclusion of Shakambari Utsavam.  Temple Executive Officer A Surya Kumari along with his family members participated in the ritual. Amidst chanting of Vedic hymns, temple priests offered a silk sari, sandalwood pieces, flowers and fruits in the Homam. “The festival is celebrated for bountiful rain and bumper harvest,” the EO said.

Gaiety marks Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima was celebrated with gaiety and religious fervour all over the city on Sunday. Thousands of devotees thronged Sai Baba temples and performed special pujas. Mass ‘Sai Nama Sankeertana’ was held. Bhajans and spiritual discourses were organised at several temples to mark the occasion.