KADAPA: The ‘Kalyanotsavam’ of Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple was held in a grand manner at Vontimitta on Thursday night.
Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Governor ESL Narasimhan witnessed celestial wedding of Lord Rama and Sita, which was conducted with official honours for the first time.
Both the dignitaries offered silk robes and Muthyala Thalambralu to the deities on behalf of the state government and conducted special pujas in the temple prior to participating in the Kalyanotsavam celebrated in the open grounds on the south side of the temple.
Devotees from various parts of Kadapa and other districts of the state thronged Vontimitta in large numbers and witnessed the Kalyanotsavam.
A unique feature of the ancient temple is that the Kalyanotsavam of Lord Rama will be conducted at night.
Though the Kalyanotsavam in all the remaining temples of Sri Rama is conducted during day time on Sriramanavami, the birth anniversary of Lord Rama, the wedding of Rama of Vontimitta temple is conducted at night on the Pournami (full moon day) following Sriramanavami from a long time.
According to legend, Sita Rama Kalyanam was performed in Tretayuga amidst a host of gods during day time.
With Moon not able to witness the grandeur, he made an appeal to Lord Rama to give him an opportunity to see the celestial marriage of him and as per the wish of Moon, Rama promised to enter the wedlock with Sita at night on Chaturdhasi at Ekasilanagaram, another name for Vontimitta, where the the three idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were carved out of a monolith.
The same tradition continues and the state government, which announced to celebrate the Brahmotsavams of the temple with official honours from this year, respected the same and conducted the ritual at night.