Nanjangud: The temple town of Nanjangud, located on the banks of Kapila river and popularly known as Dakshina Kashi, was a sea of humanity today as lakhs of devotees from across the State and neighbouring States thronged the town for the famed Srikanteshwaraswamy Pancha Maharathotsava (Dodda Jatre), which took place after a gap of two years due to COVID pandemic.
The Maharathotsava of Lord Srikanteshwaraswamy was launched in the auspicious Makara Lagna between 3.30 am and 4.30 am in the presence of erstwhile Royal family member Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, MLA B. Harshavardhan, Mysuru Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. Bagadi Gautham, Assistant Commissioner Kamalabai, Nanjangud Tahsildar Shivamurthy and other officials. Prior to the launch, all the associated pujas and rituals were performed to the presiding deity by a team of priests led by Nagachandra Dikshit.
Srikanteshwaraswamy Gautama Ratha, Parvathi Ammanavara Ratha and Ganesha, Subramanya and Chandikeshwaraswamy Rathas, constitute the Pancha Maharathas and were specially decorated for the occasion.
The Rathostsava (chariot procession), which commenced from the temple, passed through all the Ratha Beedhis (chariot streets) and other prominent streets of the town covering a distance of 1.5 kms, with devotees flocking the streets and buildings on roadsides to have a close glimpse of the deities on this auspicious occasion.
The entire temple was specially illuminated last night and so were all the prominent streets, Circles, junctions and Government buildings of the town.
After the Rathotsava concluded, prasada was distributed among the devotees at Dasoha Bhavan. Those distributing prasadas were asked to get prior certification from local health authorities.
The authorities had constructed 60 makeshift toilets and the newly built toilet too was thrown open for devotees. Drinking water facilities were provided all through the town. More than 60 CCTV cameras were installed at strategic points of the town, including at Bathing Ghat of Kapila river, Ratha Beedhis, M.G. Road, Rashtrapathi Road etc. Also watch towers were erected at some points as a security measure. Hundreds of Police personnel were deployed across the town.
A large number of devotees had arrived in the town last night itself to be part of the annual event.
The Gautham Ratha, the biggest of the Pancha Rathas, stood almost 100 ft. tall and weighed about 110 tonnes. The Car Festival is considered as one of the biggest and most popular festivals in the State. The Teppotsava will take place on Mar.18, marking Full Moon day.