1 lakh devotees likely to offer prayers in Srikalahasti
- Temple management has geared up to provide hassle-free darshan for all devotees
- Minister Ramachandra Reddy offers silk clothes to Lord Siva and Gnana Prasunambika on behalf of state government
Tirupati: The famous 'Vayulinga Kshethram' Srikalahasti devasthanam has geared up for Maha Sivaratri festival to be observed on Thursday. The chanting of 'Om Namahsivaya' has been reverberating in the town. While more than a lakh devotees are expected to worship Lord Srikalahasteeswara and his disciple Goddess Gnana Prasunambika on Thursday, the temple management has made elaborate arrangements to provide hassle-free darshan.
Entire temple complex and the town as well have been decorated tastefully. Several varieties of flowers, fruits and leaves were used in decorating the temple. The illumination has been mesmerising the devotees. Several devotees have reached the town by Wednesday evening itself to offer prayers to the Lord as early as possible on Maha Sivaratri day.
Though temple authorities have been saying that all Covid norms are duly followed, except masks sanitising hands and physical distancing have gone for a toss which may cause more worry on Thursday as the devotees numbers will surge.
Ahead of Maha Sivaratri, Minister for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy has presented silk clothes to the Lord and his consort on behalf of the state government. Srikalahasti MLA B Madhusudan Reddy and temple Executive Officer D Peddiraju were also present on the occasion. The clothes have been taken to the main temple in a procession from Sri Manikanteswara Swamy temple.
Officials have said that they will supply water, butter milk and others to the devotees in the queue lines. Steps have been taken to ensure no shortage of prasadams at the sales counters. Nithya annadanam has already been resumed after Covid which the devotees can make use of it. Several VIPs are expected to visit the temple on Maha Sivaratri and to have a glimpse of 'Lingodbhava darshan' at midnight of Thursday. Different queue lines have been set up for various categories of devotees like free, payment, VIPs and VVIPs. All the devotees will have 'Maha Laghu Darshan' only. Meanwhile, MLA Madhusudan Reddy has donated clothes to Vahan bearers and Potu employees.