Mysore/Mysuru: The Chamundeshwari Vardhanti (Jayanti of the Goddess) atop Chamundi Hill was held this morning in the presence of a huge crowd, with devotees from all parts of the State thronging the Hill Temple to seek the blessings of the deity on this special day.
The associated pujas and rituals began at 5.30 am with the performance of Mahanyasa Poorvaka Rudrabhisheka, Panchamruta Abhisheka and Sahasranaamarchane.
The rituals culminated with Mangalaarathi at about 7.30 am and the devotees were allowed inside the temple around 8 am.
After another round of rituals, the Mahamangalaarathi was held at 9.30 am, following which the specially decorated idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari was brought outside the temple at 10 am and kept in the Golden Palanquin (Chinnada Pallakki) which was placed on a wheeled carriage, following which puja was performed.
The Vardhanti Utsava formally began at 10.30 am with Mysore Royal family members Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, Yaduveer Krishandatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and Trishikha Kumari Wadiyar, pulling the Pallakki for a distance.
Transport and Muzrai Minister Ramalinga Reddy and former Minister H.M. Revanna too joined in pulling the Pallakki.
Marking the Vardhanti celebration, the Golden Palanquin was taken around the temple, amidst chanting of hymns and loud cheers of the huge crowd. The temple was decorated with a variety of flowers and other articles for the occasion.
Free bus service
With devotees allowed entry to the temple at 8 am, the KSRTC started operating free buses from Lalitha Mahal grounds only after 7 am, as a crowd regulation measure. But devotees visiting the temple by climbing of steps, had started gathering at the Hill Temple from 6 am itself and formed long queues.
Today, a good number of VIP, VVIP and on-duty vehicles were seen parked atop the Hill, which was unusually higher when compared to the three Ashada Fridays on June 23, 30 and July 7. The Police had made elaborate security arrangements for the grand event.
The Vardhanti will culminate with the performance of Utsava Phalapuja at 8.30 pm followed by Durbar Utsava and Mantapotsava.
The fourth and last Ashada Friday falls on July 14.