Nellore: 5-day 'Rottela Panduga' begins on grand note

Women exchanging  rotis at Barashaheed dargah  on Tuesday
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Women exchanging rotis at Barashaheed dargah on Tuesday

Highlights

  • Agriculture Minister Kakani Govardhan Reddy and Nellore rural MLA Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy monitoring the arrangements
  • Devotees from not only AP but also from other States like Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka take part in the festival

Nellore: The popular 'Rottela Panduga' commenced on a grand note in Nellore on Tuesday with the arrival of thousands of devotees from various parts of Andhra Pradesh and other States.

They are visiting the Bara Shaheed Dargah and are offering prayers and exchanging rotis on the first day of the festival. The festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving festival when people thank the 12 martyrs at Bara Shaheed dargah for their sacrifice which is a significant event during the five-day festival. In all, 12 martyrs sacrificed their lives in a battle against the British troops in 1751, a year which marked the siege of Arcot during a series of Carnatic wars.

The five-day fest starts from Moharram and continues for next four days till Saturday and the activity commences with the basic ritual 'Shahdatt' on Tuesday, cleaning the tombs of 12 martyrs, and the main part of the festival 'Gandha Mahotsavam' will be held on August 10, roti festival on August 11 and 'Tahaleel Fatheah' (distribution of Gandham) and Qawwali music programme on August 12 and the concluding ceremony will be held on August 13.

Roti Fest symbolises religious harmony and people representing different communities participate in the festival and exchange rotis. Large number of devotees from across the country started visiting the Dargah to exchange rotis as part of the tradition. Civic authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the devotees and police deployed huge force with 2,173 personnel for security of the people and traffic has been divided into 4 routes.

People from Tamil Nadu, Telangana State and Karnataka visit the Dargah for offering prayers and exchange rotis in knee-deep water at Swarnala tank. Officials are expecting around 10 lakh people would visit the Dargah.

The State government had declared the festival as a State festival in 2015 and has been providing necessary funds for organising the event. The Chief Minister sanctioned Rs 15 crore for the festival late on Monday for development of Dargah on the request of the rural legislator K Sridhar Reddy and Minister K Govardhan Reddy.

There are many rotis such as education, marriage, employment, wealth and prosperity, children, own house, health, foreign chance etc. Agriculture Minister Kakani Govardhan Reddy and Nellore rural MLA Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy are monitoring the arrangements for the festival.

CCTV cameras have been set up at the Dargah premises and teams are monitoring them round-the-clock at the makeshift control room to manage the crowds. Signboards also have been erected at various places for the convenience of pilgrims visiting the Dargah. Devotees have been visiting the Dargah since Sunday and started exchange of rotis much before the commencement of the festival on the banks of Swarnala tank.

"Police control room, reception centre and other safety measures were taken up by the district police. Civic officials have been continuously monitoring to ensure hygienic conditions on the premises,' said Minister Govardhan Reddy.

Sonu Sood Foundation will be providing free food to the devotees attending the Roti festival for a period of three days beginning from Wednesday.

YSR Congress State Secretary

K Giridhar Reddy staying in the premises and continuously watching arrangements and addressing

woes of the devotees alerting

administration.

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