COVID casts shadows on all Rama festivals

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The rapid spread of a second wave of COVID-19 cases has dwarfed all types of celebrations scheduled to take place this week at temples in Sri Rama across the TTD circuit.

The annual Brahmotsavams to be celebrated from April 21 to 29 in the famous Sri Kodandaramalayam in Vontimitta in the Kadapa district will be carried out privately (Ekantham) in view of the pandemic. The annual festival, which coincides with ‘Sri Rama Navami’ every year, used to be held with great fanfare and religious passion. All ‘Vahanams’ (processions on heavenly carriers) are observed in the temple, where devotees are not allowed.

Sita Rama Kalyanam, the divine wedding that has been celebrated in this temple since the forked state function, will also be a private affair.

Similarly, the Sri Rama Navami event is held in the absence of devotees at the Sri Kodandarama Swamy Temple in Tirupati. On April 21st, Tirumanjanam (Heavenly Bath) is performed before the presiding deity in the Sanctum Sanctorum, followed by Asthanam and Hanumantha Vahanam in the evening. The coronation ceremony (Srirama Pattabhishekam), generally celebrated the next day as a grand event, will be a simple, closed event on April 23 this year.

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