Karimnagar: Sivarchana ritual was performed at Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple in Vemulawada on Monday evening to mark the start of the three-day Shivaratri jatara.
The ritual of Sivarchana was started by the temple authorities last year. A separate dais has been arranged at temple tank area to perform Sivarchana as well as cultural programmes for the three-day celebrations.
Telangana artistes under the supervision of Telangana Culture wing director Mamidi Harikrishna will perform cultural programmes. Endowments Minister A Indrakaran Reddy along with local MLA Ch Ramesh Babu inaugurated Sivarchana programme on Monday evening.
Since a majority of the devotees of Lord Shiva would prefer to stay on the premises of Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple during the night of Shivaratri, district administration and temple authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the convenience of the pilgrims.
A huge number of devotees from different parts of the State and neighbouring States like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh will throng the shrine. About three lakh devotees are expected to visit the shrine.
Separate queue tracks for Dharma Darshanam, special darshanam, Rs 100 kode mokku line, Rs 200 kode mokku line, VIP pass and local residents’ line and Shiva Deeksha devotees’ lines have been arranged.
Meanwhile, temple authorities are engaged in the preparation of a huge quantity of laddu prasadam to meet devotees’ demand. About four lakh laddus have been prepared.
All set in Nizamabad
On the occasion of Mahashivaratri, temples have been decked up. Endowments and temple committee officials have made all arrangements for the festival.
In Nizamabad, Neelakanteshwara temple, Shamabuni temple in Nizamabad town, Eka Chakreshwaralayam in Bodhan town, Siddula Gutta in Armoor town and Lonka Rameshwaralayam in Sirikonda mandal are famous Shiva temples.
Neela Kanteshwara temple officials have put up barricades, made arrangements for water and other facilities for devotees.
Shambuni temple officials have deployed traffic police to control huge traffic on the occasion of the festival. Siddulgutta temple committee members have arranged for transport facility up to the temple on the hill. Police officials have strengthened security arrangements.
Special buses to manage festive rush
Sri Mallanna Swamy Devalayam in Velala village of Jaipur mandal, Sri Bugga Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam in Kannala of Bellampalli mandal and Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy temple of Kattherasala in Chennur mandal were decked up for Mahashivaratri festival to be celebrated on Tuesday.
The ancient abode of Lord Shiva in Velala was decorated with colourful lamps. Basic amenities such as drinking water facilities, parking lots and temporary toilets were set up for the convenience of devotees. Security measures were made for prevent untoward incidents.
TSRTC is plying 30 special buses from Mancherial town to the village from Monday evening.
Located on a hillock near Velala village on the shores of Godavari, the shrine was built many centuries ago. Over a period of time, it became one of the major pilgrim centres of Mancherial district. It sees sizeable influx of pilgrims belonging to erstwhile Adilabad, Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts, during the Mahashivaratri.
As a customary tradition, devotees belonging to Yadava community take holy dip in the river and then prepare Bonam on the hillock using water of Godavari. They present it to the presiding deity. Scores of artistes of this caste present cultural programmes and oral folk art during the celebrations. The pilgrims arrive to the holy place on bullock carts.
Similarly, the Sri Bugga Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam of Kannala and Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy temple of Kattherasala were also spruced up in connection with the festival. Elaborate arrangements were made for the smooth conduct of the festivities.