Mysore/Mysuru: Marking Ratha Saptami, a festival that falls on the seventh day (Saptami) in the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month of Maagha, the ‘Utsava Murtis’ of all temples in the Palace premises were displayed for the devotees to offer their prayers in the Palace premises this morning. The festival is celebrated in all temples across the country dedicated to Lord Surya and Vishnu.
The rituals began early this morning, following which the ‘Utsava Murti’ was brought from every temple in the Palace at about 6.30 am and arranged in a systematic manner to enable the devotees to offer their special prayers to the deities. The Utsava Murtis were from Adilakshmi, Prasannakrishna, Swetha Varahaswamy, Khille Venkataramanaswamy, Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy, Trineshwara, Bhuvaneshwaridevi, Gayathridevi and other temples inside the Palace premises.
Swetha Varahaswamy Temple Chief Priest Narayan Bhat speaking to SOM on the occasion, said that Ratha Saptami was being celebrated by the erstwhile Mysore Maharajas for over 200 years. The Maharajas, with an intention of bringing the deities closer to the devotees, introduced the practice of displaying the deities of all temples at one spot and this practice has continued in the Mysore Palace since then.
Pointing out that the ‘Utsava Murtis’ were displayed from 6.30 am to 12 noon for the devotees to offer their prayers, Bhat said that the ‘Surya Mandala’ placed behind the Utsava Murtis is specially made for the occasion. However, the size of the ‘Suryamandala’, which used to be huge during the rule of the Maharajas, has become smaller with the passage of time, he added.