VIJAYAWADA: Despite the tall claims of the endowments department and the Kanakadurga temple officials that elaborate arrangements were made for the 12-day Krishna Pushkarams atop Indrakeeladri Hill, the pilgrims had a harrowing time on Friday by waiting in the queue lines of Mallikharjuna Maha Mandapam from the wee hours to have darshan of Goddess Kanakadurga.
The Kanakadurga temple witnessed an unprecedented pilgrim rush on Friday. It was estimated that about 65,000 pilgrims had darshan of the Goddess Kanakadurga.
The pilgrim turnout was very high as the second Friday in Sravana Masam coincided with the beginning of 12-day Krishna Pushkarams and naturally, women pilgrims outnumbered men.
Devotees made a beeline to the temple after taking a holy dip in the River Krishna. Clad in traditional attire, women, along with their children, thronged the temple and performed special rituals. The devotees were allowed into the temple to have darshan of the presiding deity from as early as 3 am and the darshan continued till 11 pm. While the officials made arrangements to hold maximum pilgrim rush in the maha mandapam, thousands of devotees including children and women were forced to wait in queue lines around the temple for several hours.
There was heavy rush of pilgrims in the wee hours. The number decreased slightly in the afternoon with rise in the mercury levels. But again in the evening, devotees thronged as the temple and it took about five hours for darshan.
The pilgrims, who availed darshan from Om turning on Indrakeeladri, vented their anger against the authorities for not setting up sheds. Women and children suffered a lot standing barefoot for hours.
Frustrated devotees exchanged heated words with the authorities for failing to erect tents on the ghat road. A 55-year-old women, who waiting under the hot sun, fainted and her condition turned serious. However, mobile medical teams rushed in and gave her the first-aid.
Meanwhile, the replicas of major temples set up near Pavitra Sangamam at Ibrahimpatnam area witnessed sea of devotees on Friday. Serpentine queue lines were witnessed. According to a rough estimate, the pilgrim turnout on was about 35,000.