VIJAYAWADA: Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam (SDMSD) authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the upcoming annual nine-days Dasara festivities starting from October 7.
Addressing mediapersons here at Mallikarjuna Mahamandapam on Saturday, the temple executive officer (EO) D Bramaramba explained the work progress of festival arrangements and stressed the need for the devotees to strictly adhere to Covid-19 safety protocol during their visit to the temple atop Indrakeeladri.
She further urged the devotees to plan their visit by booking darshan tickets from Endowments website. “Devotees need to book tickets from the website https://aptemples.ap.gov.in. For those who come to temple without reserved darshan tickets, spot booking will be provided based on the slot allotment,” the EO said.
A total 10,000 devotees will be allowed per day, of which 4,000 will be provided free darshan and 6,000 will be `100 (3,000) and `300 (3,000) darshan ticket holders. However, officials have planned to allow around 50,000 devotees on the auspicious Moolanakshatram when the presiding deity will be adorned as Sri Saraswati Devi.
All the roads leading to the temple are being spruced up and barricades were being set up. Queue lines were erected from Vinayaka temple on Canal Road to ensure devotees strictly follow physical distancing to avoid spread of Covid-19. “We have made fool-proof arrangements for the smooth conduct of the festival. All the queue lines will be sanitised thrice a day with sodium hypochloride and devotees will undergo thermal scanning while entering into the lines at Vinayaka temple,” she explained. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will offer silk clothes to Goddess Kanaka Durga on behalf of the State government on October 12.
Temple trust board chairman Paila Sominaidu said a temporary tonsuring hall was set up near Seethamma Vari Padalu for the devotees and showers were arranged in the same vicinity. “Devotees will not be allowed to take bath in River Krishna. Also a decision is yet to be taken on keeping Covid-19 test report or vaccination certificate mandatory while visiting the temple,” he said. He also said temple authorities have prepared a budget for festival with around `1 crore for the arrangements. “By cutting down the unnecessary expenditure like transportation, extra refreshments, temporary sheds, and others, we have finished it with just `1.06 crore for the festival.”