VIJAYAWADA: Dasara Mahotsavams at Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanams started on a grand note Thursday. About 50,000 devotees visited the temple on the first day.
Goddess Durga was adorned as ‘Swarnakavachalankrutha Sri Kankadurga Devi’ on the first day of the Mahotsavams, which will go on for nine days this year, unlike 10 days every year. Dasara Mahotsavams started at 9 am and devotees were allowed till 11 pm to have the darshan of the Goddess.
Devotee rush started right from the morning and about five queue lines were set up. While two queue lines were set up for free darshan one for `50 darshan, `100 darshan and `250 darshan. Devotees have to enter queue lines at Vinayaka temple.
Irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswahara Rao, Vijayawada Central MLA Bonda Umamaheshwara Rao, film director K Raghavendra Rao and MLC Ilapuram Venkaiah were among other VIPs who visited the temple on the first day of the fete.
Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, along with his wife, presented traditional silk clothes (Pattu Vasthrams) to Goddess Durga. The minister also inspected the arrangements made by the temple authorities. He walked all through the free darshan queue line instead of preferring VIP darshan.
Durga temple and Indrakeeladri environs presented a festive look with devotees belonging to all ages participating in the Mahotsavams with fervour and joy. Though it was the first day, the devotees visited the temple in considerable numbers.
Barring a few minor incidents of arguments between the police and devotees at some places, the first day of the Mahotsavams passed off smoothly without much inconvenience to the devotees. Devotees were allowed to have ‘darshan’ of the Goddess from 9.30 a.m to 11 p.m on the first day.
However, the temple will be opened for ‘darshan’ from 3 a.m. to 11 p.m. with a daily break of one hour from 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. for the conduct of ‘Maha Nivedana’ and ‘Pancha Harathi’ from Friday onwards.
‘Laddu prasadams’ were supplied without any restrictions on the first day.