Mysuru: Thousands of devotees thronged the Chamundi Temple, atop the landmark of the City, Chamundi Hill, since morning, on the first Ashada Shukravara that began today. Even as people alighted from the buses ferrying them free of cost from the Helipad, the more faithful who had made vows, climbed the thousand-one steps to pray for the fulfilment of their vows.
The rush in the morning as early as 3 am was not along the expected lines. People who came in private vehicles parked them at the designated places near the Helipad close to Hotel Lalitha Mahal Palace. Again, the tourists from Kerala were seen arriving in buses, cars and tempos in large numbers.
The pujas to the presiding deity of the erstwhile royal family, Chamundeshwari, began at 3 am led by Chief Priest Shashishekar Dikshit, Devi Prasad and Jayram.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Chief Priest Shashishekar Dikshit said, “The pujas to Goddess Chamundeshwari in the Sanctum Sanctorum began at 3 am and it included Mahayaga Purva Rudrabhisheka, Panchamruthabhisheka, Pushparchane, Kumkumarchane and Abhisheka. Once the pujas were over, the darshan began at 5.30 am.
Every Ashada Shukravara, this tradition will continue,” and added, “the Abhisheka will be performed between 6.30 pm and 7 pm and the doors of the temple will again be thrown open to the devotees from 7 pm onwards till 10.30 pm.”
“During the Ashada Masa (season), prayers are performed to appease the Shakti Devathas, during Shravana Masa, it is performed for Vishnu and Kartika Masa pujas will be performed for Shiva. Ashada is the only season where the husband and wife can come together and perform pujas as during other seasons, for various reasons they will not be together,” said Shashishekar.
There was festive atmosphere in the air, as the first Ashada Shukravara began in the morning. Sri Chamundeshwari Seva Samiti which has been organising special floral decoration (Hoovina Alankara) since the past 28 years, also decorated the temple this year beautifully with chrysanthemums of different hues of red, yellow, white and purple.
Youths, both boys and girls in large numbers, a very old lady bent, holding a walking stick, couples were all seen visiting the temple.
Three separate queues for free darshan, for people paying Rs. 30 and also for those paying Rs. 300 for special darshan has been earmarked. The Police had made very good bandobust and there was orderly queues right from early morning. There was no confusion as people followed the queue system regulated by the Police who were keeping a hawk’s eye.
In earlier years, the people were seen jumping queues and even joining the VVIP queue. But this year there is a separate queue for VVIPs and strict arrangements have been made to see that they have a disturbance-free darshan at the sanctum sanctorum.
DCP H. T. Shekar and his team supervised the security arrangements atop the hill, while Nazarbad Police Inspector M.L. Shekar and his team were in charge of the arrangements at the Helipad. DC D. Randeep visited the hill.