The annual Sirimanotsavam’ of Sri Pydithalli Ammavaru was celebrated with gaiety and it passed off without any untoward incident on Tuesdaythanks to over 2,000-strong police force at the temple at the Three Lanterns Junction and on all roads leading to the temple. Superintendent of Police L.K.V. Ranga Rao supervised the security arrangements at the temple.
Since early hours in the morning, devotees stood in queue to have darshan of the goddess.
As the scheduled time for the ‘Sirimaanu’ (ceremonial post) to be on the move at 3.30 p.m. devotees in multiples of thousands (estimated to be over two lakhs), including locals and other neighbouring districts, began reaching the temple from all directions.
However, it was delayed by about an hour for various reasons. The people occupied every inch of space on roof tops, behind barricades, lanes and bylanes and waited patiently for ‘darshan’ of the ‘Sirimaanu’ (over 40-feet-long ceremonial pole) that was mounted in a cantilever position on a cart.
Chief priest Thallapudi Bhaskara Rao, who was attired in plain silk clothes and turban and believed to be representing the goddess on this day, was seated on aspecially made ‘Aasanam’ (wooden seat) at one end of the pole.
As ‘Paaladhara’ (tastefully decorated fishermen’s net), Anjali Ratham and Iravatham (replica of an elephant) moved ahead of the Sirimaanu, devotees rained bananas as an offering to the goddess.
The Sirimaanu made the ceremonial three trips from the temple to the fort and back. While hereditary trustees of the temple and Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, MLAs, MLCs and other TDP leadersviewed the utsav from atop the fort,
YSRC leaders Botcha Satyanarayana and others witnessed it from the DCCB enclosure. ‘Puliveshaalu’, Kolatam and other folk art forms added colour to the celebrations.