VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy inaugurated the new chariot of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Antarvedi in East Godavari district in a traditional manner on Friday. The 42-foot high seven-storey chariot built with Bastar teak wood was inaugurated on Ratha Saptami, two days ahead of annual Kalyanotsavam of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple.
The annual Rathotsavam will be held on February 23. The Chief Minister reached Antarvedi by helicopter around 11:20 am. He was welcomed by the temple priests in a traditional manner. The priests performed archana in his name. After darshan of the Lord, he was given Veda Ashirvadam and prasadam. Jagan offered prayers in the temple of Rajyalakshmi before inaugurating the new chariot. He formally pulled the chariot along with his Cabinet colleagues after performing puja.
Some unidentified miscreants set the temple chariot on fire on September 6, 2020, which caused a furore in the State. After handing over the arson case to the CBI, the Chief Minister directed the Endowments Department to build the new chariot before the annual Kalyanotsavam of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple.
Taking it as a challenge, endowments engineers and officials, along with Ganapathi Stapathi and his team of 25 artisans, worked day and night and built the new chariot in a record time. Endowments Additional Commissioner K Ramachandra Mohan, who was appointed as a special officer for the project, camped at Antarvedi to oversee the construction of the chariot.
The required teak wood was procured from Sri Sai Timber Depot in Ravulapalem. From designing to the trial run, the temple chariot was built in a record time of 90 days at a cost of Rs 1.16 crore. A total of 1,330 cubic feet of Bastar teak wood was used for building the chariot measuring 20.6 feet long and 14 feet wide. The chariot with six massive wheels is equipped with hydraulic brakes. Two strong ropes are tied to the chariot with a special mechanism for free movement, to enable devotees to pull it during Rathotsavam. It is housed in a 50-foot high shed with iron gates after the end of Rathotsavam.
Minister for Endowments Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao, Minister for BC Welfare Chelluboyina Venugopalakrishna, Minister for Social Welfare P Vishwaroop, Minister for Agriculture K Kannababu, MPs, MLAs and others were present on the occasion.
Temple Rathotsav on Feb 23
Kalyanotsavam of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple will be held on February 22. Rathotsavam will be held on Feb 23, in which thousands of devotees participate