VISAKHAPATNAM: Seashore in the city burst into festivity on Tuesday as fisherfolks invoked the community deity Gangamma, before venturing out into the sea as the 61-day fishing holiday ended on Tuesday midnight.
During the two-month-long ban on the fishing by mechanised boats, the fishermen renovated their boats, got their fishing nets and other equipment ready.
Going by their tradition, fisherwomen gathered in huge numbers at the Gangamaa temple at the daybreak and offered flowers, fruits and sarees to propitiate the Goddess. A procession was also taken out on the occasion.
The fishermen said that they were raring to make their maiden sail into the sea on Wednesday midnight. The festivity continued till the midnight.
“The festival is celebrated since the profession started in the city. We beseech the Goddess to save us and our family from any calamity. Every year, over 1,000 people visit the temple to seek blessings of the Goddess,” said D Yallaji, secretary of the Gangamma temple, Fishing Harbour area.
“Earlier the temple was a small one. We have expanded the temple eight years back when a severe cyclone hit the coast but the water didn’t cross the temple. The Goddess saved us,” he added.
At the end of the Jatara, over 20 litres of boiled milk in a clay pot was offered to the deity and later poured into the sea. The temple witnessed a rush of women who prayed for the safe voyage of the fishermen.
“I come here every year to pray for my sons and grandsons before they venture out into the sea,” said K Apamma, a fisherwoman.