There was heavy surge of pilgrims at the ancient Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam in Vemulawada of Rajanna-Sircilla district on Friday on the occasion of Mahashivarathri.

The devotees coming from far flung places formed serpentine queues for darshan of presiding deities after taking a holy dip in “dharmagundam” since early hours. As the devasthanam authorities stopped all the puja rituals at the shrine and allowed only ‘laghu’ darshan, there was heavy rush for the traditional “kode mokku” offering.

The queue lines stretch to more than 2.5 km for the darshan and also “kode mokku”. It was taking more than two hours for the pilgrims to get the darshan of the presiding deities. The district administration and devasthanam authorities made elaborate arrangements for the smooth flow of pilgrims at the shrine.

The priests from Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD) arrived from Tirumala and presented silk vastrams to the presiding deities as is a ritual since ages. Similarly, Minister for Finance and Civil Supplies Etala Rajender presented silk vastram on behalf of state government alongwith, Karimnagar MP B Vinod Kumar, Vemulawada legislator Ch Ramesh Babu, State cultural council chairman Rasamayi Balakishan, Karimnagar legislator G Kamalakar, ZP chairperson Tula Uma and others.

Collector Krishna Bhaskar and SP Vishwajit are camping in Vemulawada temple town and overseeing the arrangements round the clock by visiting various locations. The special attraction of this Mahashivarathri festival at the shrine was the colourful cultural programmes organised by the State government’s Department of Culture.

Similarly, the Shiva temple shrines at Koti Lingala in Velgatoor mandal and Dubba Rajeshwara Swamy devasthanam in Pembatla village of Sarangapur mandal in Jagtial district, Sri Kaleshwara Muktheshwara Swamy devasthanam in Kaleshwaram of Mahadevpur mandal in Jayashankar-Bhupalapalli district were packed to the brim with the arrival of scores of pilgrims to offer prayers.