Devotees gather at Srikanteshwaraswamy Temple as early as 2 am; mega event concludes at 10.50 am
Nanjangud: A sea of humanity converged on the Temple Town of Nanjangud on the banks of River Kapila this morning for the famed Srikanteshwaraswamy Pancha Maharathotsava (Dodda Jatre) that passed off peacefully.
Lakhs of devotees cheered as the Rathotsava (chariot procession) moved on the streets and there was little space for people to witness the grand spectacle. People looked like ants in the visuals captured on a drone camera.
The Pancha Maharathotsava was launched in the auspicious Meena Lagna between 6 am and 6.40 am in the presence of MLA B. Harshavardhan, Mysuru Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. K.V. Rajendra, Tahsildar Shivakumar, Temple Executive Officer Jagadeesh, Assistant Executive Officer Venkatesh and other officials.
The Pancha Maharathotsava involves the pulling of five Rathas or chariots dedicated to different Gods, by devotees, to the accompaniment of sacred chants and traditional music. The Gauthama Ratha, the biggest of the Pancha Rathas, stood almost 100 ft. tall and weighed about 120 tonnes.
Before the launch, all the associated pujas and rituals were performed to the presiding deity by a team of priests led by Nagachandra Dikshit. Srikanteshwaraswamy Gautama Ratha, Parvathi Ammanavara Ratha and Ganesha, Subramanya and Chandikeshwaraswamy Rathas, constitute the Pancha Maharathas and were specially decorated for the occasion.
The Rathotsava, which commenced from the Temple, passed through all the Ratha Beedhis (chariot streets) and other prominent streets of the town covering a distance of 1.5 km, with devotees flocking the streets to have a closer glimpse of the deities.
Soon after the puja rituals including the Bali Puja were completed, the chariot carrying the idol of Lord Ganesha started its journey first along the main streets of Nanjangud and was followed by the chariots of Lord Srikanteshwara, Lord Chandikeshwara, Lord Subramanya and Goddess Parvathi (Ammanavaru). Utsava Murthis of the temple deities were kept inside the respective chariots.
All the chariots reached the Temple premises after moving around the town and hundreds of newly weds had gathered on the road to seek blessings, apart from the town residents and other devotees climbing on buildings, vehicles and trees to witness the grand spectacle. Specially made ropes measuring 300 ft. were held by hundreds of devotees to pull the chariots along the 1.5 km procession route.
The Ammanavara Ratha was delayed by over 15 minutes as it was stuck near the Rakshasa Mantapa. However, it was pulled out with the help of cranes and earth movers. The Police had set up six watch towers to watch over the movement of the chariots and the people.
More than 60 CCTV cameras were fixed at vantage points including at Bathing Ghat of Kapila River, Ratha Beedhis, M.G. Road, Rashtrapathi Road, etc. and over 500 Policemen maintained order.
The town witnessed long traffic jams that were cleared only hours after the grand event.
The entire Temple was specially illuminated last night and so were all the prominent streets, Circles, junctions and Government buildings of the town.
After the Rathotsava concluded, prasadam was distributed among the devotees at Dasoha Bhavan.