Devotees make a beeline for Srisailam temple

Devotees arrived at the Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple in Srisailam in large numbers to observe the Maha Shivaratri Brahmotsavam being held at the temple. Authorities estimate that nearly a lakh devotees visited the temple on Thursday.

The temple, renowned as the Varanasi of South, is one among the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. Every year, tens of thousands of devotees trek up to the hill-top temple, crossing the precarious Nallamala forests on foot, to participate in the Maha Sivaratri Brahmotsavam.

The temple has been decked up by authorities. Floral decorations near the doors and temple lighting has enthralled the devotees. Priests are also performing special pujas for the Brahmotsavam. Various ‘Vahana Seva’ rituals were also held as part of the 11-day fete.

Police have also formed a force of 1,500 officers to make sure that no untoward incident occurs. Collector G. Veerapandian, along with Superintendent of Police Fakeerappa Kaginelli, are monitoring the situation from the command room at Srisailam.

While Srisailam temple draws the highest number of devotees, other Shiva temples in the district too have been decked up for Sivaratri.

Kolanu Bharathi temple – the only Sarasvati temple in the state, Mahanandi temple, Sangameswaram temple, and Yaganti cave temple are all decked up for the festival. The authorities are performing special pujas.

Long weekend

Authorities expect the number of devotees to be significantly higher this year than previous years as the festival is followed by a weekend. It is expected that about two lakh people would visit the temple on Friday.

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