Vijayawada, Sept 30 :
Thousands of devotees of Goddess Kanaka Durga thronged the Sri Durga Malleswara Swamivarla Devasthanam on Wednesday even as the Navaratri festivities atop Indrakeeladri concluded on a colourful note with the ‘teppotsavam’ on Monday.
The pilgrims rush continued on Tuesday and Wednesday mainly because of the arrival of hundreds of devotees, who have taken ‘Bhavani Deeksha’.
The authorities of Sri Durga Malleswara Swamivarla Devasthanam, who expected the rush while planning the arrangements for the 10-day Dasara festival, decided to continue the same police bandobust and barricading for three more days from Tuesday onwards.
As a result, diversion of vehicular traffic on the national highway abutting the temple remained in force. There was not much of an inconvenience to the devotees, who were able to complete the darshan of the deity in an hour or two. From tiny tots to septuagenarians, devotees who have taken Bhavani Deeksha arrived from different parts of the State. Those who began the Deeksha now would continue it for 40 days and relinquish the same in the temple on the 41st day.
Those who had taken the Deeskha 40 days ago were visiting the temple to relinquish it now. The temple officials have arranged free transportation from bus stand and railway station to Kanakadurga Nagar and Bhavanipuram ghat to Kummaripalem centre. Following police suggestion, the temple officials have decided not to allow any vehicle, except those of the devasthanam, on ghat road. The temple management has made arrangement for the transportation of the aged, physically challenged and VVIPs.
“As no private vehicle is allowed on ghat road, the VVIPs also should travel in the vehicles arranged by the temple,” said the Commissioner of Endowments. The police are also making arrangements to “hold the devotees” near Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) office in the case of unusual rush on the hill.The devotees who had darshan could also rest for a while at the ASI point.
The foot-over-bridge (FoB) near Durga ghat would be used as emergency exit way. As many as 50 closed circuit (CC) cameras would be installed at all key places to monitor the rush and ensure safety of pilgrims, the Police Commissioner said. Meanwhile, the temple authorities earned some Rs 1.39 crores through sale of all types of darshan tickets and prasadam during the 10-day Dasara festivities that ended on Monday.