Lakhs to witness divine wedding at Andhra’s Srisailam

By Express News Service

KURNOOL: As part of the ongoing eleven-day Srisailam Brahmotsavams, the temple authorities have made elaborate arrangements to conduct Kalyanotsavam of Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy and Goddess Bramaramba Devi during the late hours of Saturday, which is considered to be the main event of the ongoing festivities.  

Nandi Vahana Seva will be held for the presiding deities beginning at 7 pm, followed by Lingodbhava Rudrabhishekam and Pagalankarana, which will be performed at 10 pm. The day will be concluded with Kalyanotsavam at midnight on a grand note as per the tradition, said temple executive officer S Lavanna.

The temple officials estimate that around 10 lakh devotees have already reached the hill shrine for the Shivaratri Jagarana. The pilgrims after taking a holy dip in the Patala Ganga, they are offering prayers to the presiding deities.

The Srisailam temple, which is renowned as ‘Dakshina Kasi’ (Varanasi of South) and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, is considered to be most prominent temple in the Telugu states. People across the country throng to this temple to worship and purify their sins.

The temple is also said to have Shivalingas installed by the Pandavas, ‘Vrudda Mallikarjuna Lingam’ installed by Lord Rama and ‘Sahasra Lingeswarudu’ installed by Sita. People also believe that ‘Triphala Vruksham’ at the temple bestow childless couples with babies. Apart from these, there are Sivaji Spoorti Kendra, Pancha Mathas, a water reservoir, a power generating unit and a ropeway for the amusement of the pilgrims.

Traditional history

The Maha Shivaratri Brahmotsavams are celebrated in the month of Magha (the 11th month of Indian Lunar Calendar) which falls usually in the months of February/March. This is a festival of eleven days where devotees follow Navahaknika Deeksha. On the Maha Shivarathri day (29th day of Magham), Abhishekam will be performed during Lingodbhavakalam (the sacred time in which Lord Shiva manifests in the form of huge flaming Linga) to Mallikarjuna Swamy. The unique Pagalankarana, which is found only in Srisailam temple, is the most significant event of the festival.

During this, a person belonging to weavers community (Devanga) wrap a lengthy new white cloth called Paga (Turban) starting from the Sikhara of the Swamyvari Vimana Gopuram passing around the Nandi idol placed on the Mukha Mandapam of the temple. The interesting feature of this event is that the Devanga will decorate the Paga in total darkness with a naked body. The cloth used in the Pagalankarana is hand woven by weavers throughout the year. Nearly 30 Pagas are offered by various weavers’ community as a vow and all the Pagas will be decorated simultaneously by a single weaver.

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