The ancient Sri Mallanna Swamy temple of Velala in Jaipur mandal is being spruced up for the three-day-long Maha Shivaratri festivities which are slated to be held from February 24 to 26. Devotees from various parts of northern Telangana congregate at the holy place and throng this historic abode of Lord Shiva in view of this auspicious occasion.
According to locals, the temple was built on a hillock near Velala village on the shores of River Godavari, centuries ago. Over a period of time, it became one of the major pilgrim centres of Mancherial district. It sees huge crowd of pilgrims at the time of Maha Shivaratri celebrations. It is the most-sought after destination to devotees of Lord Shiva belonging to erstwhile Adilabad, Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts.
As a part of tradition, devotees take holy dip in the river and then prepare bonam on the hillock using water of Godavari river. They present it to presiding deity Lord Shiva in the temple. Similarly, people from all walks of life congregate at the holy place during the jathara conducted on Shivaratri festival. They enjoy in shopping and indulging in fun games.
Executive officer at the shrine, Ramesh said that elaborate arrangements were under progress to celebrate the festival as a smooth religious affair. Drinking water sources have been erected for public. The temple is being illuminated with electrical lamps, lighting systems and parking lots have been arranged for the convenience of devotees.
In addition, sanitation measures have been taken and medical services will be kept ready to handle emergencies. Staff members belonging to primary health centres of nearby Jaipur and Kundaram were asked to be available at the fair. Security arrangements are in place and over one lakh devotees are expected to flock to the shrine in three days.