Visakhapatnam Gears Up for Giri Pradakshana Festival
Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam district administration has made all arrangements for Giri Pradakshana festival at Simhachalam which will start from Sunday afternoon onwards.
Collector Dr. A. Mallikarjuna, police commissioner C.M. Trivikram Varma and GVMC commissioner C.M. Saikanth Varma have held a series of meetings for a well-organised flow of devotees. The police commissioner suggested changes in traffic movement atop the hill to prevent jams.
Significantly, officials have decided to try tags for children, so that they could be traced immediately in case they get separated from their parents. The GVMC commissioner said a band will be tied to wrists of all children with the name and phone numbers of their parents written in blue marker. Officials will tie the tags at 20 points of entry for the 32-km Pradakshana.
Saikanth Varma said plastic has been banned all along the route. Enforcement squads will prevent use of plastic in shops opened during the festival. The official underlined that their focus will also be on street lights, sanitation, drinking water, medical camps and information centres for convenience of devotees.
Around 200 temporary toilets are being set up at 22 places, besides other facilities. About 25 stalls of voluntary organisations around Simhachalam will distribute water, buttermilk and food items to devotees. There will also be medical camps with necessary equipment and medicines, apart from medical personnel and 17 ambulances along the Pradakshana stretch.
Giri Pradakshana will start from 2 pm on Sunday, marking entry of Ashadha Pournima at the Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, which will remain open till 10 pm.
City police have imposed traffic restrictions for convenience of devotees undertaking Pradakshana’ from 6 am to 1 pm. Devotees can go around roads all around the Simhachalam Hill, starting from the foothill at Simhachalam via Mudasarlova BRTS Road, Hanumanthawaka, Visalakshi Nagar, Jodugullapalem, MVP Colony Double Road, Venkojipalem, HB Colony, Seethammadhara, Balayya Sastry Layout, Port Stadium backside, DLB Quarters, Madhavadhara, Murali Nagar, R&B Office Junction, NAD Junction, Gopalapatnam, Prahladapuram, Srinivasa Nagar and Gosala.
Police have advised devotees to take their holy dip in the sea at Appughar Beach and not at Jodugullapalem.