The temple of Goddess Saraswati at Basar reverberated with religious fervour on Thursday as more than 2 lakh devotees visited the temple to perform special pujas as part of Raksha Bandhan. This is the first time in the last 10 years that such a huge turnout was witnessed at the temple. Over 2.5 lakh devotees visited the temple during the Godavari Pushkaralu.
It is one of the two famous Saraswati temples in India, the other being in Jammu & Kashmir. Devotees from across the country thronged the temple and waited in long queues for three-four hours since early morning for the darshan.
The authorities apparently failed to make necessary arrangements as they did not anticipate such a huge turnout.
On Vasantha Panchami (Goddess Saraswati’s birthday) last year, around 80,000 devotees visited the temple.
The devotees coming from far off places had a harrowing time as the 140 rooms, including 20 A/C rooms, under the endowments department were not sufficient. Cashing in on the demand, private lodges hiked the room rent exorbitantly charging Rs 3,000 to 4,000. The pilgrims blamed the temple administration for not providing adequate rooms and other basic amenities. They also found fault with the officials for not cleaning the temple Koneru.
When contacted, temple assistant executive officer Srinivas admitted that they were unprepared for such a huge turnout.