COVID casts shadows over the festivities at Valmikipuram Temple

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The two-day festival of Srirama Navami began on Wednesday at the 600 year old Sri Pattabhirama Swamy Temple in Valmikipuram in the district.

Under the supervision of the temple priests and officials, the ritual of “Snapana Tirumanjanam” was performed in the morning, followed by a procession of the presiding deity on the Mohini Vahanam in the evening. Both festivities were performed in the inner complex of the temple.

Although a large crowd of citizens visited the temple from the beginning, they were allowed to worship from outside the temple complex.

The popular “Seetha Ramula Kalyanam” event will be performed in the temple on Thursday evening. With the exception of local lawmakers and officials, the public is strictly prohibited from attending the celebrations, the temple priests said.

The ancient temple, administered by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), saw its fame during the Chola and Vijayanagara dynasties and enjoyed the patronage of the Maratha King Shivaji and British officials until independence.

Immediately after the division of state in 2014, the people of Valmikipuram and the surrounding mandalas in the Chittoor district made their demand to announce the Pattabhirama Swamy Temple as the official temple to celebrate the heavenly marriage of Lord Rama and Sita Devi based on the model of Badrachalam in Telangana. The opportunity, however, went to the temple at Ontimitta in the Kadapa district.

In a big way

In the meantime, the festival at Kodandarama Swamy Temple in Chittoor, administered by the Foundation Department, has been celebrated on a grand scale.

About five hundred devotees from different parts of Chittoor offered their prayers in groups and also participated in the Abhishekam and Hanumantha Vahanam seva. However, the festival remained a poor tariff in the countryside after officials insisted on following COVID protocols.

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