RAJAHMUNDRY:After 12 days of festivities, the Godavari Maha Pushkarams-2015 concluded on a grand note with mesmeric cultural programmes and an extravagant display of fire crackers on the banks of river Godavari here Saturday night.
The state government announced that more than 4.9 crore pilgrims took holy dip in the river in East and West Godavari districts during the 12-day mega event, which came to an end at 6.28 pm.
The once in 144-year pushkarams, which commenced on July 14, is the first mega religious event to be organised in the truncated state of Andhra Pradesh. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his Cabinet colleagues stayed put in Rajahmundry and succeeded in building the brand of the city. However, the tragic stampede that claimed the lives of 27 pilgrims on the inaugural day continued to be the dark spot in the mega event. The fire mishap occurred at a shop near Gokavaram Bus Stand also left the locals in a shock. Music concert by eminent Carnatic vocalist Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna, flute concert by Pandit Hari Prasad Chowrasia and Kuchipudi ballet by 1,000 dancers from Kuchipudi Natyaramam held atthe Government Arts College Grounds marked the concluding ceremony of the mega religious fete.
Meanwhile, the laser show, release of sky lanterns, firecrackers and ‘Godavari Nitya Harathi’ organised at the Pushkar Ghat impressed the hordes of pilgrims gathered at the venue. The light and sound show apart from ‘Godavari Nitya Harathi’, which were all entrusted to noted film director Boyapati Srinu, also enthralled the devotees.
Many non-governmental organisations and individuals supplied food, buttermilk, drinking water and anna prasadam to the devotees for free during the past 12 days. The South Central Railway and APSRTC had run special services to meet the pilgrim rush. As many as 45,000 employees of all government departments were deployed to ensure the smooth conduct of the event.
Pushkaram Highlights in Godavari Districts
- 4.9 crore Took holy dip in river Godavari
- 287 No. of bathing ghats
- 6.65 crore No. of water packets distributed
- 70 lakh No. of butter milk packets distributed
- 3.25 crore - ‘Pinda Pradhanam’ rituals performed
- 248 No. of medical camps set up
- 171 No. of CCTV cameras installed in Rajahmundry
- 12,173 No. of missing person announcements
- 2,079 No. of missing persons not traced
- 1,927 APSRTC buses make 4,098 trips
- 300 City buses operated
- 60.85 lakh Passengers availed RTC services
- 15 lakh train passengers
- 650 Cultural programmes
- 22 km wire broadcasting system used to telecast pushkarams live across Rajahmundry