KURNOOL: In a bizarre tradition at Chinnahothur village in Kurnool district, devotees line up outside Siva Yogi Sidda Rameswara Swamy temple to get kicked by a priest. Devotees in and around the village and also from Hampi and Hospet in Karnataka arrive at Chinnahothur by believing that getting kicked by the priest ensures prosperity and grants them all their wishes.
According to locals, the devotees take part in the three day Rathotsavam beginning on Vaisakha Chaitra Pournami. On the last day of Rathotsavam, Siva Parvathi Kalyanam was performed. On Sunday, the presiding deities were taken out in a procession on a palanquin.
To catch a glimpse of the deities, people in large numbers thronged the temple and formed queues. The temple priest in the guise of Veerabhadri Swamy danced amidst devotees. While dancing, the priest ‘kicked’ any devotee standing in the queue with his foot.
The devotee who got the priest’s kick, left the premises with a feeling of satisfaction. Temple committee member G Madhusudhana Reddy said that the tradition is a longstanding one, that has been passed on for generations. Many say that all their wishes were granted after they were kicked by the priest, he adds.