VIJAYAWADA: Only 10,000 devotees per day will be allowed to have darshan of Goddess Kanaka Durga atop Indrakeeladri during the nine-day Dasara festivities, which will be celebrated from October 7 to 15. On the auspicious Moola Nakshatram day when Goddess Durga will bless devotees in the incarnation of Goddess Saraswati, the temple administration is anticipating heavy rush and more number of devotees will be allowed for darshan. Devotees should mandatorily book their darshan tickets online and strictly adhere to Covid-19 protocol during their visit to the temple.
Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao, District Collector J Nivas, Police Commissioner B Sreenivasulu, Durga temple EO D Brahmaramba, VMC Commissioner V Prasanna Venkatesh inspected the ongoing development works at the canal road, Kanaka Durga Nagar and Sivalayam on Thursday.
Later, the festival coordination committee meeting was held, where it was decided to restrict the number of devotees to 10,000 a day for darshan. The Endowments Minister said of the total 10,000 devotees, 4,000 will be provided free darshan. The remaining are Rs 100 (3,000) and Rs 300 (3,000) darshan ticket holders.
“Indrakeeladri can accommodate only 10,000 devotees per day for darshan following Covid protocol. Only devotees, who booked their darshan tickets through online will be allowed to have darshan. Around 600 devotees have booked their darshan tickets so far for Devi Navaratri fete,’’ he said.
It may be recalled that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) had decided to hold the annual Brahmotsavams of Venkateswara temple in Ekantham in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The TTD too made online booking of tickets mandatory and restricted the number of devotees to be allowed for darshan during the annual Brahmotsavams.
The Durga temple management has decided not to allow Bhavani Deeksha relinquishment on the hill shrine in view of Covid-19 this year. The Endowments Minister directed the temple Executive Officer to sensitise devotees on vehicle parking, queue lines, online sale of tickets and other Covid guidelines through videos and circulate them on various social media platforms. “Devotees will not be allowed to have a holy dip in the Krishna River due to the pandemic. However, showers will be arranged for the convenience of devotees near Seethammavari Padalu,’’ he informed.
The Collector directed the VMC to deploy adequate staff in three shifts per day and arrange 230 temporary toilets for devotees. Prasanna Venkatesh said 650 sanitation staff will be deployed for the temple festival. The Collector directed the Durga temple authorities to supply face masks to devotees and strictly enforce Covid-19 protocol.MLA Malladi Vishnu said Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will offer traditional silk robes to the Goddess on Moola Nakshatram day on behalf of the State government as per the custom.
Arrangements for temple fete
- Vehicular movement to be restricted between Durga Ghat and the hill shrine
- Devotees to be allowed for darshan from
- 2 am to 11 pm on Moola Nakshatram day
- Devotees to be allowed to the hill shrine in three queue lines and the lines will become five once they reach ‘Om turning’ on Indrakeeladri to ensure social distance
- Devotees to be screened with thermal scanners before allowing them into temple
- Medical camps to be set up and ambulances to be stationed down the hill
Free darshan for 4,000
Of the total 10,000 devotees to be allowed per day, 4,000 will be provided free darshan. The remaining 6,000 devotees are holders of `100 and Rs 300 darshan tickets