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With the auspicious Karthika month beginning on Monday, considered to be the auspicious weekday for Lord Siva, thousands of devotees thronged Sivalayams in and around the city from the early hours of Monday.

The temples got opened for the devotees from the wee hours of the day, where the devotees from a cross section waited for their turn in the long queues braving cold weather. The age-old Sivalayams at Jagannaikpur and on the Cinema Road were packed with devotees, while the otherwise deserted Sivalayams at Turangi and Samalkot on the city’s outskirts saw unprecedented rush.

A festive atmosphere prevailed at the Chalukya Bhimeswara temple at Samalkot, said to have been built by the Eastern Chalukyas dated back to 11th Century and the temple of the same age at Draksharama, where devotees from the neighbouring towns and villages turned up for the darshan of the Lord.

Makeshift shops

Makeshift shops selling camphor and coconuts sprang up overnight in front of the temples that witnessed brisk business from the small hours of the day.

The priests literally had no time to gasp as devotees continued to pour in by the hour. At Balatripurasundari temple in the heart of the city, the queues moved at a snail’s pace.

Festive look

Srikakulam Staff Reporter adds:

Hundreds of devotees offered Abhishekham and special prayers at the Lord Shiva temples here on Monday. Sri Uma Rudra Koteswara temple and the Shiva Balaji temple in the district wore a festive look with the arrival of devotees from early hours after a holy dip in the Nagavali river. Srikakulam MP Kinjarapu Rammohan, Srikakulam Collector P. Lakshmi Narasimham and other VIPs had darshan in the Koteswara Swamy temple which has a 100-year history.

The Endowments department made special arrangements to handle extra rush at major temples such as Ravivalasa and Srimukha Lingam.