Gaiety marks vardhanthi at Chamundi Hill

Utsava murthy taken out in gold plated palanquin of Mysore Palace

Gaiety marks vardhanthi at Chamundi Hill

Chamundeshwari Vardhanti celebrations, atop Chamundi Hill here, attracted a sea of devotees, on Sunday.

The celebrations began with chants of vedic hymns. Rudrabhisheka, Panchamruthabhisheka, Sahasranamarchane, Mahamangalarathi, etc were offered to Chamundeshwari, besides ‘Durbar Utsava’. Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, wife of royal scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, performed puja to the ‘utsava murthy’ (a replica of the main idol of the goddess) marking the beginning of the procession.  The utsava murthy was taken out in gold-plated silver palanquin brought from the Palace for the celebrations and was taken back soon after the utsava concluded at 12.30 pm.

As the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari, adorned with flowers of various hues and jewels, was being carried on the palanquin, the crowd cheered and praised her. Pilgrims thronged the hill since break of the dawn and the huge rush continued throughout the day. People made a beeline to the hill, where the vardhanti is celebrated with gaiety on Revathi nakshatra day of Krishna paksha in the month of Ashada. The day is believed to be the birthday of the goddess.

Pujas began at 5.30 am, while public darshan was allowed from 8.30 am. However, people began to gather near the temple since 4 am itself.

S A Ramdas, ex-minister, clad in traditional dress offered puja. Commissioner for Endowment B G Nandakumar, Chamundeshwari MLA G T Devegowda and others participated.
Shashishekar Dixit, Chief Priest, said, although ‘Ammanavara Vardhanti’ is observed as the birthday of goddess Chamundeshwari, in reality, it is the day when Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar installed the ‘utsava murthy’ in front of the sanctum sanctorum.

Despite elaborate arrangements, the city police, commando force, home guards and private security personnel had a tough time managing the crowd. Even mounted police were pressed into service.

Bus service

Private vehicles were not allowed atop the hill. KSRTC buses ferried devotees from Hotel Lalitamahal Palace helipad. Additional buses were operated from the City Bus Stand. A ticket counter for special entry was opened at helipad.

Many missing

The huge rush resulted in many people getting separated from their companions. However, names of missing people were announced over the microphones to help their family members.

Aside from mass feeding organised by the temple authorities at Dasoha Bhavana, devotees also distributed palau, pongal and sweets. Volunteers distributed water to people.

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