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Mannar temple gears up for grand Ugadi fete
In a bid to promote the 800-year-old temple that features beautiful sculpture, the endowments department has decided to celebrate Telugu new year at the shrine in a grand manner
Vizianagaram: In an attempt to promote the ancient Mannar Rajagopala Swamy tempe at Kottapeta as a tourism destination, endowments officials are preparing to celebrate Ugadi in a big way at the temple. As per the orders of district collector A Suryakumari, the officials are making arrangements for celebrating the Telugu new year at the temple.
Mannar Rajagopala Swamy temple is an 800-year-old temple in Vizianagaram district. It is also known as Santhaana Gopala Swamy or Kotha Kovela or Venugopala Swamy temple. People of Vizianagaram believe that the temple was built under the guidance of Sri Bhagavath Ramanujacharya (1017-1137 AD). The temple features beautiful sculptures.
This is also the only temple in the region where rituals are performed under Pancha Raatra Agama, a Vaishnava tradition. Though it has glorious past, the temple land was encroached upon and the temple became neglected. Hence, the shrine has been witnessing a few devotees due to bushes and unkempt surroundings.
The local devotees and temple committee have renovated the temple with the help of endowments and Archaeology departments five years ago. The temple has become blend of ancient sculpture and modern painting. The renovation has enhanced the beauty with depiction of Ramayana. Endowments officials have included the temple in Vijaya Darshini, a temple tourism circuit package by AP tourism containing ancient temples like Ramatheertham in the district.
District collector Suryakumari has focused on developing the temple as one of the tourism destinations in the district.
She directed the endowment officials to celebrate the coming Shubhakruth Ugadi Utsav in the temple in a grand manner.
She also asked the officials to invite the priests of Simhachalam temple to perform veda parayanam as part of Ugadi celebrations.
The endowments officials have been making special arrangements for veda parayanam, panchanga sravanam, Ugadi pachhadi and cultural programmes. Collector Suryakumari visited the temple and inspected the arrangements being made for the Ugadi Utsav.
The collector said Mannar Rajagopala Swamy temple is one of the ancient temples in this region. The construction of the temple as well as sculpture are awesome.
"There is a huge scope to develop it as a tourism destination. So, we have included the temple in Vijaya Darshini tourism circuit. In addition, we are planning to celebrate the coming Ugadi Utsav in the temple," she said.