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Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Dasara Celebrations fall silent this year

The Kanaka Durga temple is located on the top of a hill called Indrakeeladri at the entrance of the city. This holy shrine of Goddess Durga is a Swayambhu (self-manifested) and is the second-largest temple in Andhra Pradesh.

The “Dasara” festival is celebrated in a very big way here with a large number of pilgrims taking part in the festivities. A holy dip in the river Krishna (2 km from RTC Bus stand) is also a big highlight of the place.

The Kanaka Durga temple administration has decided to celebrate the annual Dasara festival from October 17 to 25 by strictly following the Covid-19 guidelines and ensure the safety of all devotees visiting the temple and the staff attending to the duties during the prestigious festivities.

Due to the drastic fall of devotees visiting the temple from an average of 20,000 to 30,000 per day before the lockdown period to only 6,000 to 7,000 per day now due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the officials are planning to celebrate the festival without much fanfare and avoid unnecessary expenditure.

But, all rituals will be performed as usual during the nine days festival. A notable point is the temple administration will reduce the expenditure for arrangements this year compared to the previous year. The temple administration spent lakhs of rupees for arranging long queue lines with barricades from Vinayaka temple to the Kanaka Durga temple passing via ghat road, cooking and serving free meals to a large number of devotees, distribution of Prasadam, and for illumination of the temple along the ghat road, Canal road and other premises, etc. This year, the maintenance expenses are likely to come down as the number of devotees visiting the temple may fall compared to the previous year.

The temple administration prepares a report on the estimated expenditure every year before the festival for the approval of the government. Kanaka Durga temple officials told that a meeting with the Endowments officials and the Trust Board members will be convened before September 20 to prepare a plan of action to conduct the annual Dasara festivities.

Must Read-Mysuru gets ready for Annual Dasara Gala, under Covid-19 Restrictions!

The temple administration has released the schedule of Alankarams to be followed during the nine-day fete.

On the first day October 17, the presiding deity will be adorned as Sri Swarnakavachalankruta Durga Devi October 18, the deity will be seen as Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Devi.

On October 19, the Goddess will be adorned as Sri Gayatri Devi and on October 20, the deity will be decorated as Sri Annapurna Devi.

On the day of Mula Nakshatram, October 21, the deity will be decorated as Sri Saraswati Devi and she will be adorned as Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi on October 22.

On October 23, Durgamma will give darshan to devotees as Sri Mahalakshmi Devi. On October 24 the deity will be decorated as Sri Mahishasura Mardani Devi and Sri Durga Devi in two Avatarams.

On the last day October 25, the Goddess will be attired in Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi alankaram and Teppotsavam will be conducted in River Krishna in the evening on the same day.

The Kanaka Durga temple administration is planning to allow the devotees as per the time slot booking to prevent a heavy rush in the queue lines. Dasara is celebrated with fanfare in Vijayawada and more than one lakh devotees used to visit the temple for darshan of the presiding deity.

But, due to Covid-19 lockdown, the RTC and the Railways have suspended services and it may hit the attendance of devotees to the temple this year. On the other hand, the temple administration decided to follow Covid-19 guidelines very strictly in and around the temple during the celebrations.

Wearing masks, maintenance of physical distance by devotees and staff is a must in the temple. Besides, the devotees must wear hand gloves also, said temple EO Suresh Babu. He said all Covid-19 guidelines will be followed and precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all devotees and staff, he added.

Not just the Kanka Durga temple, even celebrations in Vijayawada city has been restricted. The city police commissioner said setting up pandals, public gathering during the nine-day festivity, from October 17 to 25, and idol immersion is banned as the same will compromise the physical distancing norm.

“It is very clear that no idol of Goddess Kanaka Durga shall be set up in any tent/pandal/public place, nor any kind of permission shall be granted for any procession during the festival. People shall be encouraged and advised to celebrate the festival at home,” the police commissioner said in the note, adding people gathering in the name of celebration and creating a nuisance will be dealt with seriously.

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Post By Shweta