Hyderabad: Huge holiday crowds and long serpentine queues were seen at the venue of the Aythu Chandi Maha Yagam on Saturday, its fourth day. The yagam is being conducted by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao at his farmhouse in Erravalli of Medak district.
Nearly three lakh people turned up by the afternoon, forcing police to put a stop to VIP darshan for some time and allow ordinary devotees in view of swelling crowds. The huge rush forced the organisers to cancel the kumkumaarchana puja for women. The winter chill and dusty roads added to the devotees’ woes.
According to volunteers at the venue, the crowds began arriving from 4 am onwards. It took the devotees nearly 4 to 5 hours to reach the spot where the idol of Goddess Chandi has been installed.
Traffic went haywire at Gouraram junction, Pragnapur and other villages on the roads leading to Erravalli as hundreds of cars, two-wheelers and other vehicles from Hyderabad and other parts of TS, and Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other states.
In fact, traffic was jammed right from Alwal in Hyderbad on the Rajiv Rahadari and the jams continued intermittently on the 65-km stretch to the venue. Volunteers said that due to heavy rush, the visit to yagam venue would take about four to five hours during the day. However, the crowds thinned at night. Devotees will be allowed to reach the yagamshala till 10.30 pm on Saturday due to heavy rush.
“We stood for four hours in the queue and could not take it any more, so we returned,” said Praveen Kumar, a resident of city.
With just a day left for the yagam, several VVIPs including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and his wife Vimala Narasimhan, Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah, Supreme Court judge N.V. Ramana, Congress leaders T. Subbarami Reddy, Zaheerabad Congress MLA J. Geetha Reddy, actors Rajendra Prasad, Shivaji Raja, Taraka Ratna and others were seen at the yagam.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is expected to attend the event today.
While BJP leaders have been regular visitors, this was the first time Congress leaders turned up for the yagam today. Mr Sharad Pawar told media persons that he had come to participate in the yagam. Asked about his meeting with Renuka Choudhary, he said there was nothing significant about it.