CHITRADURGA: Despite the rain, devotees from various parts of the state and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh pulled a 70-foot high chariot having five wheels, on the occasion of the ‘Sri Guru Thipperudra Swamy’ Car festival on Monday.
Lakhs of devotees of different religions and castes thronged Nayakanahatti for the celebration, and to pay their obeisance. In the hour when the ‘Chitta’ star ascended at 3.30 pm, the chariot started rolling from the precincts of the temple to padagatte, which is half-a-kilometre away. The procession brought cheer to the faces of many devotees. The chariot returned at 6 pm. When the chariot was returning from Padagatte, the car was accidently taken into a road with a dead-end, and it took devotees more than half-an-hour to get the chariot back on track.
The chariot festival is held every year during phalguna masam.
The utsav murthy (metallic procession idol) is brought with religious fervour from the temple premises and mounted on the chariot.
The first pooja was conducted on behalf of the people of the district by MP B N Chandrappa.
The Mukthi Dwaja planted on the chariot was auctioned as per tradition.
Hiriyur MLA and former social welfare minister D Sudhakar purchased the Dwaja for a whooping `20 lakh. After the festivities were over, devotees purchased puffed rice with bhujia, bendu and bathas which are savouries eaten as part of the car festival. Friends who met after a long gap, exchanged greetings on the occasion.