VIJAYAWADA: About 5 lakh devotees are expected to take part in the ‘Dasara Mahotsavams’ to be held at Sri Durga Malleshawara Swamy Temple in the city from September 25 to October 3 and one lakh Bhavanis are expected to end their deeksha at the temple on October 4. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is expected to present the traditional silk clothes to Goddess Durga during the festivities temple executive officer Trinadha Rao has said. Trinadha Rao told newsmen here Tuesday that more than 5,000 officials, belonging to various government departments, were being roped in to make necessary arrangements for the festival.
He admitted that less number of devotees turned up for Dasara last year due to Samaikyandhra agitation. “But, we are expecting more devotees this year and all arrangements are being made. Barricades are being erected for queue lines from Sri Vinayaka Temple to Durga Temple atop Indrakeladri Hill and, bathrooms and toilets are being arranged at bathing ghats.”
While Dasara Mahotsavams were being organised for 10 days every year, the festival will be celebrated for nine days this time as Goddess Durga will be adorned as ‘Durga Devi’ and ‘Mahishasuramardini’ on the same day, i.e., October 2. Prasadam, including about 16 lakh ladoos and 17 tonnes of Pulihora, will be readied for distribution among devotees through seven counters. The prasadam counters are being set up at the Durga Temple, Pandit Nehru Bus Stand, railway station, Jammidoddi and Kankadurganagar.
Changing rooms will also be constructed near ghats for the convenience of female devotees. Aside from the existing 105 barbers at Kalyanakatta, another 800 barbers are being recruited, on temporary basis though, for head tonsuring, the EO added.