Eluru: Mahasivaratri was celebrated with religious fervour at various Saivite temples in the district from the wee hours of Monday. There was heavy rush of pilgrims at all Siva Kshetrams including Achanta, Palacole, Bhimavaram, Pattiseema and Balive (Krishna district).

Devotees made a beeline for the famous Bhadrakali Sametha Veereswara Swamy temple from the early hours of Monday. The temple is located on the riverbed of Akhanda Gowthami Godavari. The devotees reached Pattiseema Dock, took holy dip in river Godavari, and later reached the temple, which is located in the middle of the river by launches.

Polavaram legislator M Srinivasa Rao presented silk clothes to Lord Veereswara Swamy on behalf of the State government and offered prayers at the temple. District Collector K Bhaskar and Jangareddigudem RDO Lavanna supervised the arrangements at the temple.  

Superintendent of Police Bhaskar Bhushan along with his wife and children reached Pattiseema and offered prayers to Lord Veereswara Swamy. He also reviewed the security arrangements at the temple. 

Balive Ramalingeswara Swamy temple in Krishna district, located on the banks of Tammileru rivulet near Eluru, saw hectic devotional activity. Devotees took holy dip in Tammileru rivulet and offered prayers to Lord Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy.  RTC has plied special buses from Eluru, Chintalapudi and Nuzvid depots to Balive for the convenience of devotees.  

Ksheerapuri, one of the Pancharama Kshetrams in the district witnessed heavy influx of devotees. Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy temple in Palcole reverberated with Siva Namasmarana, as huge number of devotees thronged the temple chanting Om Namah Sivaya.

Similarly, there was heavy pilgrim rush at Pancharama Kshetram in Gunupudi near Bhimavaram, Someswara Janardhana Swamy temple, Somaramam and Achanteswara Swamy temple in Achanta. The devotees took holy bath in river Godavari and offered prayers to Lord Achanteswara Swamy.

King cobras captivate devotees
Samarlakota (East Godavari): A snake-charmer on Monday displayed 10 kinds of king cobras near Bheemeswara Swamy temple on the occasion of Sivaratri. People who assembled near the temple were entertained and captured images of snakes on their cell phones. 

The police who were deployed on security duty near the temple were also found capturing snakes' images. The devotees consider the darshan of snakes along with Lord Siva at the temple to be very auspicious.