Atmakur: Shiva shrines in the Nallamala area were beehive of devotional activities to mark the Maha Sivarathri festival on Friday. Devotees in thousands took holy dips in the Sangameswaram on the banks of river Krishna before offering ‘archana’ to the deity. Many also offered ‘harathi’ to the ‘chaduvula thalli’ Kolanu Bharati after undertaking fasts.

The festival was marked by ‘jagaranalu’ and midnight ‘kalyanotsavalu’. There were more pilgrims from Telangana at temples in Sangameswaram, Kolanu Bharati, Omkaram, Mahanandi, Rudrakotiswaram, Gunda Bramheswaram and Gupta Maheswaram. They reached the shrines in mechanised boats.  Chants in praise of Lord Siva rent the air. With the Krishna river drying up, the Shiva Lingam surfaced much to the delight of the devotees and the archakas of the various temples.

In the Kolanu Bharati temple, devotional and educational activities like ‘akshara bhyasam’, ‘archana’ and ‘homam’ were organised. Devotees awaited darshan of ‘jyoti’ at midnight in Rudrakoteswaram. Traditional dances were among the events organised to welcome the devotees to the various temples.

Sangameswara temple Executive Officer Nagaprasad made elaborate arrangements for the convenience of the large number of pilgrims from the two Telugu States. The management of Godavari Polymers arranged buttermilk.