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Devotion, religious fervour mark Maha Sivaratri fete

Devotion, religious fervour mark Maha Sivaratri fete
Highlights

Bhimavaram (West Godavari): Devotion and religious fervour marked Maha Sivaratri festival as a large...

shiva Bhimavaram (West Godavari): Devotion and religious fervour marked Maha Sivaratri festival as a large number of Lord Shiva devotees thronged Someswara Janardhana Swamy temple, one of the five Pancharama Kshetras in the State, at Gunupudi here on Sunday.A Abhishekam to the Lord began early in the morning. Devotees queued up and patiently waited for their turn to have `darshan.' A majority of devotees at the temple came from distant places in buses and light vehicles. A The officials of the temple supplied drinking water, milk and yellow rice to the devotees. The devotees from far off places were offered `visishta darshan.
Self-revealing of Lord Siva
Palakole (West Godavari): Devotees who thronged Sri Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy temple here believe that Lord Siva reveals Himself in real form coming out of the Lingam on the auspicious night. The temple witnessed heavy rush since 3 in early morning. The believers offered special `puja' and Abhishekam. The temple authorities helped the devotees avail special arrangements made for them.
Freedom from sins
Amaravati (Guntur): Sri Bala Chamundi Sameta Amareswara Swamy temple here packed to capacity with unusual rush to mark the festival. Devotees came here to get rid of their sins. They believe that Abhishekam on the holy day would appease the `Reliever of Sins.' At Balive temple Balive (Krishna): A large number of devotees visited the Ramalingeswara Swamy temple at Balive in Musunuru mandal of Krishna district, on the occasion of Maha Sivaratri on Sunday. Lakhs of devotees from neighbouring districts of Khammam, East and West Godavari districts arrived here for worshipping the Ramalingeswara Swamy. The devotees took a holy dip in Tammileru rivulet before offering prayers. Despite making all arrangements for the festival, the officials failed to prevent animal sacrifice at the temple. Hundreds of pigs were slaughtered on the occasion. The temple authorities who earlier engaged child labour for work, violated norms again by permitting animal sacrifice. As per law, animal sacrifice is prohibited and the saddening part of this is that they are sacrificed on the auspicious Maha Sivaratri day. The devotees, however, claimed that it was a part of the tradition which was in vogue since ancient times.
At Podili temple
Darsi (Prakasam): Religious fervour and gaiety marked the Sivaratri festival celebrations at Podili near here on Sunday. Ongole MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy visited the Nirmamaheswara Swamy temple in the town and offered prayers. He later inaugurated the traditional Ongole bull weight-pulling competition at the Shravani Estates in the town. Thousands of people gathered at the venue to have a glimpse of the bulls in action. Event organiser Anikalla Veera Reddy expressed his concern over the possibility of extinction of Ongole breed as rearing them become a costly affair now-a-days. Veera Reddy reminded that in the past, festivals were celebrated with traditional games like cock fights, 'Kolatam,' 'Tokkudu Billa' and rope pulling. He indicated that cows and oxen would become extinct if the government bans bull competitions.
Tractor driving competition was also conducted on this occasion. Organiser Venu informed that the competition would help the drivers in improving their driving skills and enable them to overcome the traffic problems.
Pancharama Kshetras Historic evidence suggests that the temple was constructed by King Chalukya Bhima, prominent among `Toorpu' Chalukya kings in seventh century AD. A reference of the temple is found in ancient religious scriptures of Bhimakhandam, Brahmanda Purana and Skanda Purana.
According to a legend, a group of gods pleads with Lord Kumara Swamy to punish a cruel demon by name Tarakasura who attains immortality because of Aatmalinga sported by him. To ensure safety of gods, Lord Kumara Swamy executes the demon with the help of Aagneya Astram. The Upasa Lingam of the demon breaks into five pieces and scatters at different places (in the present Andhra Pradesh) popularly known as Pancharama Kshetras�Somaramam (Gunupudi), Ksheeraramam (Palakole), Amararamam (Amaravati), Daksharamam (Daksharam) and Kumararamam (Samalkot).
Tradition of turban Palakole: A devout couple, Varada Someswara Rao and Ramakoti, of Dagguluru village, near here, has been presenting a turban to Lord Shiva at Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swami temple in Palakole for the last 16 years. The 18-inch-wide turban is 385 yards long and made in four months on an exclusive loom. The couple does not take up any other work for the rest of the year. They start the work in the 'karthika masam' and complete it before Sivaratri, to decorate the Lord's head.
The turban was earlier taken out in a procession in the village.The couple is continuing the tradition initiated by the late Ande Veeranna and his wife Veerabhadramma, impressed by the Srisailam temple's traditions.A The turban cloth will be distributed among the devotees after Sivaratri.People consider the turban cloth auspicious and prefer to keep a piece of the turban adorned by the Lord in their homes. Gurajala(Guntur): Rural Development Minister Dokka Manikya Varaprasada Rao visited the Amaralingeswara Swamy temple in Daida village near here on the occasion of Mahasivaratri on Sunday.
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