'Chandanotsavam': Post Covid, over 2L devotees to visit Simhachalam temple in Vizag

Chandanotsavam festival would have darshan tickets priced at Rs 300, Rs 500, Rs 1,000, and Rs 1,200

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  2 May 2022 4:56 AM GMT
Chandanotsavam:  Post Covid, over 2L devotees to visit Simhachalam temple in Vizag

Visakhapatnam: The stage is all set for the smooth conduct of `Chandanotsavam', the annual festival of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, at Simhachalam temple in Vizag city on May 3. Chandanotsavam, the biggest festival at Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam, was held without devotees (held in ekantham) in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19. People were not allowed to have Nijarupam darshan of the presiding deity.

It is only on 'Chandanotsavam' Day that devotees can see the original form (Nijarupa) of the deity. On other days, the idol remains covered with sandalwood paste. The sandalwood covering would be removed once a year on that day after performing various pujas. After a gap of two years, the authorities will be allowing the devotees for the 'Chandanotsavam' as the Covid-19 cases have drastically declined in the state. Andhra Pradesh has been reporting less than ten Covid-19 cases in a day for the past few weeks.

Chandanotsavam festival, which is normally attended by over two lakh devotees, is likely to attract more devotees from various places this year.

Executive Officer of Simhachalam temple, MV Suryakala, and special officer for the festival D Bhramaramba said the top priority of the temple administration is to provide hassle-free darshan to all the devotees during Chandanotsavam. "We have decided to provide darshan of the deity to at least 3,600 devotees per hour. Over 1.5 lakh Laddus have been made available for devotees during the festival," Suryakala added.

Chandanotsavam festival would have darshan tickets priced at Rs 300, Rs 500, Rs 1,000, and Rs 1,200. District Collector A Mallikarjuna suggested using bar codes to weed out fake tickets. VIP slots have been increased this year. He said that the devotees should be able to have a hassle-free darshan of the deity without any inconvenience. Executive Officer of Simhachalam temple, MV Suryakala confirmed that family members of the temple hereditary trustee P Ashok Gajapathi Raju will visit the temple on Chandanotsavam. As per the tradition, family members of the temple's hereditary trustee will have darshan of the deity. Later, endowment officials will present silk clothes on behalf of the State government. Sarva darshanam of the devotees will commence at 4 am.

It may be recalled that Dharmakartha Sanchaita Gajapati had the first darshan of the deity during the Chandanotsavam in 2021. Later, the AP High Court canceled the appointment of Sanchaita Gajapati as chairperson of the MANSAS Trust and Simhachalam Devasthanam and reinstated Ashok Gajapathi Raju. Ashok Gajapathi Raju stay away during the inauguration of Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy temple on Bodikonda hills in Ramatheertham village of Vizianagaram district on April 25, 2022. He accused the temple officials of violating the protocol during the foundation stone-laying ceremony held on December 22, 2021.

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