The doors of the Hasanamba temple, which opens only once in a year for devotees to have a darshan of the deity, was opened on Thursday.
The temple is opened every year in the month of Ashwayuja, on the Thursday after the full moon day. The doors were opened as per the tradition at 12.40 pm, after performing the rituals. The sealed doors of the sanctum sanctorum were opened in the presence of Dharmasthala Dharmadikari Veerendra Heggade, Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri, administrative officer H L Nagaraj and Tahsildar Shivashankarappa.
Though the district administration and temple management committee had informed earlier that devotees will be allowed darshan from November 2, hundreds of devotees had gathered near the temple on Thursday itself.
The rituals were conducted in front of the temple from morning. As per the custom, Nanjaraj Urs, a descendent of the Talwar family, axed the banana tree, marking the beginning of Hasanamba Jatra Mahotsav. The doors of the temple were opened after this ritual. It was decorated with colourful flowers and fruits as part of the festival. There will be no public darshan on the first and the last day. People can offer prayers to the deity round-the-clock on all the remaining seven days.
The temple was closed at 11.30 pm on the first day. Public darshan begins from 5 am on November 2. The temple closes on November 9.
The recent controversy, created by activists who posed questions to the district administration over spreading superstitions about the so-called miracles of the deity, did not seem to have deterred the enthusiasm of the devotees, who arrived in large numbers.