Giri Pradakshina: Lakhs trek to Simhachalam

Giri Pradakshina: Lakhs trek to Simhachalam

A sea of humanity is participating in the annual megafestival Giri Pradakshina of Srivarahalakshmi Nrusimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam on Thursday

Visakhapatnam: A sea of humanity is participating in the annual mega-festival ‘Giri Pradakshina’ of Srivarahalakshmi Nrusimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam on Thursday. Over 3.5 lakh devotees, including women and children, started their 32 km long ‘Giri Pradakshina’, a walk around the Simhachalam hills, till 7 pm and the devotees are still coming from various places in the north coastal districts and parts of Odisha and Chhatisgarh to participate in the festival.

After completion of the 32 km long walk, the devotees will trek 1,200 steps to have a darshan of Lord Simhadri Appanna and the rush will continue till in the evening hours of the next day. However, due to the lunar eclipse on Friday night, the temple will be closed at 12.30 pm on Friday, the devotees started the pradakshana right from the morning hours to have a darshan of the Lord before the closure of the temple.

Massive crowd was witnessed at the two main ends to the Simhachalam temple-Adivivaram and Gopalapatnam. The police department closed the vehicular traffic at Vepagunta, Gopalapatnam and Adavivaram Junctions. With the sea of devotees participating in the trekking, the vehicular traffic even on the BRTS four-lane roads was being halted.

Meanwhile, Lord Simhadri Appanna chariot was flagged off by Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao and executive officer of Srivarahalakshmi Nrusimha Swamy Devasthanam K Rama Chandra Mohan, along with other VIPs. The walk was started at the downhills of the temple via Adavivaram, Central Prison, Arilova Junction, Hanumanthawaka Junction, Jodugullapalem, MVP Colony, HB Colony, Seethammadhara, Port Stadium backside, Madhavadhara, NSTL Road, NAD Junction, Gopalapatnam, Prahladapuram, Old Gosala and Downhills of the temple.

The district administration deployed all the line departments to provide facilities to the devotees. Special medical teams were arranged covering the entire 32-km area. The RTC arranged special buses from various places in the three districts. The GVMC and other organisations and individuals arranged rest camps at various places.

The police department deployed 2,000 police personnel and also special mobile teams as a large number of women are participating in the walk. Several spiritual organisations also arranged special programmes to entertain the devotees participating in the walk.

Meanwhile, Several mouth-watering dishes, including ‘pulihora’, ‘daddojanam, ‘chakrapongali,’ ‘pongal’ and tiffins, including idly, vada, upma, sweets like kaja, boondi, kesari and jilebi, being served to over four lakh devotees, who are walking 32-km around Simhachalam, as a part of ‘Giri Pradakshina’ on Thursday night. Besides, coffee, tea, pepper milk, butter milk, ORS drinks and drinking water are being served to the devotees.

For the first time, Sri Satya Sai Seva Organisation, as a part of its community service, taking up foot and leg massages with pain relief oils to the devotees at the various locations of Giri Pradakshina. Both men and women members of Sri Satya Sai Seva Organisation at various locations are massaging the devotees with pain relief oils.

Senior members of the organisation VR Nageswara Rao, B Rama Rao, SC, D Raghava Rao, B Sateesh, RA Naidu and Jagadeesh supervising the service programmes. They said that the service will continue till 10 am on Friday.

Many Non-Government Organisations, individuals, spiritual organisations, associations, shopping malls and other commercial establishments serving the devotees by providing food, drinks and necessary medical aid.

According to the information from the major camps en route Simhachalam covering 32-km, over 4,000 kgs of rice items, one lakh idly and vada and other items are being served to the devotees. It is learnt that over nine lakh water packets are distributed to the devotees so far.

As the walk was being held throughout the night, the organisations at several places serving coffee, tea, pepper milk and butter milk. Some of the organisation also distributing ORS drinks to the needy.

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