Paruveta: Vijayawada police’s rare privilege

Dasara utsava idols are kept at police station for about half an hour as per tradition

Published: 22nd October 2012 11:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2012 11:46 AM   |  A+A-

Dasara festival is celebrated in a grand style all over the country and Andhra Pradesh is no exception. When it comes to Vijayawada, the celebrations at the Kanaka Durga temple on the Indrakeeladri have a uniqueness about them.

Many are not aware that the police too have a role in the festivities in Vijayawada. The One Town police will perform Paruveta, a concluding ceremony of the Dasara festival, and enjoy the rare privilege.

The One Town police station house officer (SHO) will receive the utsava idols of of Kanaka Durga and Malleswara Swami on Vijayadasami. The temple executive officer will hand over the idols to the police at around 4 pm on October 24, the concluding day of the nine-day festival this year. Then the idols will be taken to Krishna river for  Teppostavam (float festival).

Later, the deities will be taken in a palanquin to the Gosala where they keep a ratham (chariot) for the deities. From there the deities will be taken on Simhavahanam to the police quarters near the municipal corporation office via Ratham Centre and Canal Road where the utsava idols of Kanaka Durga and other deities will be received by the police families in a traditional manner with the offer of pasupu, kunkuma and harati.

Then the deities will be taken to Jammidoddi Centre at Brahmin Street in One Town via Canal Road and Ratham Centre.  A branch of the Shami (Jammi) tree, on which Lord Arjuna and his brothers are believed to have hidden their weapons during their exile prior to the Kurukshetra war, will be planted there and slogans will be raised on the importance and greatness of the tree. The Paruveta Utsavam, known as Satru Samharam to mark the Kurukshetra war, will be performed by the One Town police circle inspector.

Later, Kalyanam (celestial marriage) will be performed to Goddess Kanaka Durga and Lord Sri Malleswara Swami. Then the deities will be set out for Nagarotsavam.

Since the One Town police station is considered to be the residence of the goddess, the utsava idols will be kept at the police station for about 30 minutes after Shami puja. Then the deities will taken back to the temple via the steps-route near Gosala and handed over to the temple’s executive officer at 5:45 am on October 25.

How did the tradition of police participating in Dasara festival actually begin? The legend has it that the tradition started during the reign of Kondaveeti Reddy Rajas during the 14th and 15th centuries. As willed by the goddess, the soldiers of the Reddy Kingdom and local fishermen clashed on the outskirts of Vijayawada. The fishermen who thrashed the soldiers invoked the wrath of the goddess who appeared before the injured soldiers. From then on the Kondaveeti Rajas used to send soldiers to follow the procession of the goddess, explained V Nageswara Sarma, a head constable who is attached to the One Town police station.

Nageswara Sarma has been participating in the Paruveta Utsavam for the last 20 years. He is one of the members of the Dasara Utsava Committee. Sarma says the tradition, started by the Reddy kings, was continued by the British police. The One Town police are continuing the age-old tradition after Independence, Sarma says.


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