KADAPA: Burkha-clad Muslim women, accompanied by men and children, offered prayers at Sri Lakshmi Venkateswara Swamy temple at Devunikadapa here on Ugadi festival on Tuesday. Muslim women had darshan of Lord Venkateswara Swamy and Padmavati Devi and presented coconut, fruits and camphor, along with rice and cereals to the presiding deities, as part of an age-old tradition symbolising communal amity in Kadapa.
They offered prayers at the sanctum sanctorum, dhwaja stambham and balipeetham and received theertham and prasadam from the priests, who blessed them. A typical offering to the deity is Vepapathi, which is made of jaggery and sugarcane.
A devotee Basha who came with his family members said Muslims offer prayers to the Lord and His Consort Bibi Nancharamma in a traditional manner, a practice in vogue since ages. It is a practice that is prevalent across the Rayalaseema region, and many Muslims from Chittoor, Kurnool and Anantapur district also visit the temple. As Lord Venkateswara married Bibi Nancharamma, the Muslims treat Him as their son-in-law.