Thousands throng Chamundi Hill on first Aashada Friday

Thousands throng Chamundi Hill on first Aashada Friday

Devotees from neighbouring states pay obeisance to goddess Chamundeshwari

 Thousands of devotees thronged the Chamundi Hill here to offer puja and for darshan of the deity of goddess Chamundeshwari on first Aashada Friday.

The temple doors were open for devotees at 5.30 am after mangalarathi for the deity by a group of priests led by Shashishekara Dikshit. While the idol of Chamundeshwari was decked up with a variety of flowers and fruits, beautification of the sanctum sanctorum (garbagudi) with tender coconuts and bunches of grapes hanging from the ceiling was the major attraction.

The temple authorities had also decorated the temple and surroundings with swag and colourful flowers. Devotees had queued up since early hours of Friday.

The temple authorities served prasadam, ‘Anna Dasoha’ (mass feeding), for nearly 25,000 devotees. Volunteers of various organisations distributed ladoos to the devotees. During the month of Aashada, under the Chandramana calender, devotees from across the state and neighbouring states visit the temple. A large number of devotees from Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu visited the temple.

Prasanna from Kollegala said that Chamundeshwari is another form of Devi Durga and that he visiting the temple during Aashada since 11 years. Prasanna said that he used to visit the temple with his family members, but this time, for some reason he had to come alone.

First-time visitors

A group of students of University of Mysore (UoM), who were witness to Aashada Friday celebration atop the hill, for the first-time, were happy to get darshan of the goddess and said, “It’s double dhamaka for Mysureans as Aashada commenced immediately after the city celebrated ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’.”

According to shopkeepers atop the hill, the inflow of devotees is less compared to last year. They said, visitors flow will be high on last Aashada Friday (July 29). The authorities expect more than two lakh devotees on July 29. Aashada Fridays are on July 15, 22 and 29 while the Vardhanthi (birth anniversary) of Chamundeshwari will be celebrated on July 26.

Transport facility

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has provided special bus service to ferry devotees atop the hill from Lalitha Mahal Helipad, where parking facility is provided for private vehicles. Due to large flow of devotees, the movement of private vehicles atop the hill has been banned by the police. Only a few vehicles with pass provided by the department, were allowed atop the hill.

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