On the annual pilgrimage

Srisailam is abuzz with several thousands of devotees of Karnataka and Maharashtra reaching the temple.

Devotees of all ages from various parts in the two States have been trekking from their hometowns to the temple for several years now.

Offerings to goddess

Dressed traditionally and carrying saffron flags and a couple of clothes in their bags, the devotees visit the temple by the Ugadi festival and present a sari, rice and pulses to Sri Bhramaramba Devi.

While most devotees trek normally, some devotees walk on stilts. Some carry “Basavanna Kavadi,” a bamboo pole with containers on either end to carry the offerings to the deity.

“Sri Bhramaramba Devi is our progeny who is married to Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy of and the ritual of presenting “saare” [sari and essential commodities] to the goddess has been in vogue since the time of our ancestors,” said Basappa, a devotee from Kalaburagi in Karnataka.

“We perform abhishekam at Lingodbhavam time on Maha Sivaratri and kalyanam at the temple in our villages and begin our pilgrimage to Srisailam temple after Amavasya [no moon day] after Sivaratri,” he added.

A majority of devotees are from the Kalaburagi, Raichur, Bellary, Chitradurga, Hospet and Belgaum areas in Karnataka and Sholapur and the adjoining areas in Maharashtra. They offer prayers at temples en route and walk singing songs in praise of Lord Siva.

With or without footwear, they trek all day long and take rest at temples en route during nights and reach Srisailam.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists and temple committees have put up pandals all along the route and arranged annadanam for the devotees.

Several others have put up pandals and are supplying drinking water and buttermilk sachets to them and some food.

RTC specials

Meanwhile, the APSRTC has drawn up plans to ply about 200 buses from all the depots in Kurnool district to Srisailam for the festival.

As many as 150 RTC buses would be plied from Srisailam to Raichur in Karnataka, a day after Ugadi, according to APSRTC Kurnool Regional Manager Venkateswara Rao.