Hyderabad: The chant of ‘Om Nama Shivaya’ reverberated through the day in the lanes and bylanes of Hyderabad on Friday as people celebrated Mahashivaratri on a grand note. Shiva temples were decked up with lights and flowers. Braving the cold, devotees thronged the temples early in the morning. On the occasion, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao conveyed his greetings to the people of Telangana and prayed for their well being.
At Keesara, devotees queued up to seek the lord’s darshan. Temple managements and trusts organsied special rituals, pujas and programmes. Sporting traditional attire, youth and the elderly took part in abhishekhams. At many temples, special programs were organised as part of the celestial wedding of lord Shiva and goddess Parvathi in the evening.
Cultural and dance events were held at temples and colony associations. The celebrations went on till late at night as bhajans and discourses were organised to keep devotees awake, which is a practice on the festival day. At Pancha Janyeswara Swamy temple in Hare Krishna Golden temple, Banjara Hills, the festival was celebrated grandly under the supervision of Satya Gaura Chandra Dasa Prabhuji, according to a press release.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of devotees from Telangana and neighbouring AP, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh thronged the Vemulawada temple. They took a holy dip in Dharmagundam and watched the jagarana. The temple authorities supplied water and buttermilk to the devotees standing in long queues waiting to see the deity. The centre of attraction of this year’s jatara was the helicopter service provided by Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation and Telangana State Aviation Corporation.
Helicopters flew pilgrims from Hyderabad to Vemulawada. State Finance Commission Chairman G Rajesham Goud, IDC Chairman Eeda Shankar Reddy, Vemulawada Temple Development Authority vice-chairman Purushotham Reddy, MLA Ch Ramesh Babu, and Endowments Department Commissioner Anil Kumar offered prayers to Raja Rajeshwara Swamy. Endowment Minister A Indrakaran Reddy presented silk clothes to the deity performed special pujas. TTD priests and officials, and Health Minister Etela Rajender also presented silk clothes to the deity. Minister Harish Rao visited the temple.