Yerragondapalem: The devotees made a beeline to see the sunrays fall on the deity and seek blessings from the Chayasameta Suryanarayana Swamy at Devarajugattu near Peddaaraveedu in Prakasam district to celebrate the Rathasapthami festival.
The deity at Devaraju Gattu Suryanarayana Temple, which is on the hill beside the village, receives the first rays of sun on every Rathasapthami. This unique feature is said to be manifested in two more places, the Konark in Odisha and Arasavalli temple in Srikakulam district. The legend says that Srikrashnadevarayalu and his wife took rest beside the hill while on their way to Srisailam along with the battalion. The couple prayed to the sun in the morning and constructed a temple for the sun on the hill, named after him as Devagiri, to mark his visit to the place.
As part of the Rathasapthami, the temple priests performed Abhishekam, Sahasranama Puja and distributed the prasadam to the devotees. “Though the temple has a history of over hundreds of years and is under the endowments department from a long time, no facilities were provided by the government,” complains the public.
Mettu Srinivasa Reddy, caretaker of the temple said that they witness a large number of devotees on the Rathasapthami every year and few arrangements were being made with the money from their own pockets. He also demanded the officials to repair and provide some basic infrastructure at the temple so that the devotees coming to the temple on Sundays and for special pooja would get benefitted.