Rikalahasti town is fully geared up to meet the heavy crowd expected to throng the shrine of Sri Kalahastheeswara, revered as ‘Dakshina Kashi’, on the most auspicious Maha Sivaratri day on Monday.
Minister for Environment and Forest Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy, who is also the local MLA, presented ‘Vastram’ on behalf of the State government to the temple on Sunday. Accompanied by temple trust board Chairman P. Guravaiah Naidu and Executive Officer D. Bramaramba, the minister and his wife B. Brundamma carried the silk clothing in a procession, to be adorned the auspicious occasion on Monday. Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham has presented two garlands made of aromatic spices like cardamoms, cloves and vettiver (khus), to be adorned to the deity of Sri Kalahastheeswara and goddess Gnana Prasunambika. The temple is tastefully decorated for the major occasion of the year.
At Srinivasa Mangapuram, the annual Brahmotsavams concluded with ‘Chakra Snanam’. The waiting devotees immediately plunged into the water, as taking a simultaneous dip is believed to rid one of all sins. Earlier, the processional deities of Sri Kalyana Venkateswara and His consorts were given a celestial bath ‘Snapana Tirumanjanam’. It was curtains for the annual fete, when the sacred yellow flag hoisted on the first day to signal the beginning of the Brahmotsavams was unfurled from the temple flag post in the evening.
The special feature of the Brahmotsavam was that the temple Potu (kitchen) prepared and distributed eight different varieties of Prasadam to 30,000 devotees everyday, besides meals to 5,000 persons through the TTD’s Anna Prasadam Trust. The medical unit and SV Ayurvedic College conducted camps and extended services to 1,000 people, while 60 tonnes of flowers were used by the gardens department to decorate the temple.
Meanwhile, at Sri Kapileswara Swamy temple, the deity of Lord Shiva was taken in a grand procession on ‘Kalpa Vriksha Vahanam’ in the morning and ‘Tiruchi Vahanam’ in the evening. As part of ‘Maha Sivaratri’ on Monday, the day will start early with ‘Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam’ at 2.30 a.m., followed by Bhogi Theru at 7 a.m. Common devotees will be allowed for darsan from 5.30 a.m. to 12 midnight. The Lord will ride his favourite carrier ‘Nandi’ at 6 p.m. to bless His devotees.