VIJAYAWADA: Around 9,000 devotees paid obeisance to Goddess Kanaka Durga, adorned in the avatar of ‘Swarna Kavachalakruta Sri Kanaka Durga Devi’, on the first day of the nine-day Dasara festival, which began at Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam (SDMSD) atop Indrakeeladri on Thursday, October 7, 2021.
The festivities began with ‘suprabhata seva’ at 3 am, ‘snapanabhishekam’ at 3.30 am and ‘balabhoga nivedana’ at 6:30 am. Processional deity of Goddess Kanaka Durga was taken out in a grand procession around Indrakeeladri, encircling the holy shrine to mark the beginning of the festivities.
Governor Biswabhusan Hari Chandan, along with his wife Suprava Harichandan, participated in the first rituals performed for the deity and offered special prayers at the hill shrine. Temple priests offered a traditional welcome to the Governor amid recitation of Vedic hymns. The Governor said, “It is a great fortune that I was able to offer prayers to Goddess Kanakadurga during Dasara. I sought the Goddess to bless the people of Andhra Pradesh and to bestow all prosperity on the State and the country.”
While a decent number of devotees thronged the temple in the morning, large number of people visited the temple in the evening to offer prayers. Temple authorities made thorough announcements through the PSA, asking devotees to adhere strictly to the Covid guidelines.
Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao said Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will offer traditional silk robes to the deity on behalf of the State government on October 12 ( Moola Nakshatram).
Recalling the previous year’s incident, when boulders rolled down the hill shrine, the Minister assured that protective fencing was arranged on Indrakeeladri.
He said, besides that, steps are also being taken to develop the temple on the lines of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). The government is spending around Rs 70 crore for taking up various development projects in and around the hill shrine. TDP leader and former irrigation minister Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao also paid obeisance to the Goddess. He appealed to the temple authorities to improve facilities for the devotees in the queue lines.
What to look out for on day 2?
Goddess Kanaka Durga will adorn the avatar of Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Devi, on the second day of Dasara on Friday. Goddess Durga, in this attire, is described as the divine combination of Goddesses Saraswati, Mahakali and Lalitha Tripura Sundari. The temple head priest said the goddess will be seen with a book, sphatik mala, a white lotus and abhayahastham.