Annual Simhachalam Chandanotsavam from midnight today

VISAKHAPATNAM: The stage is set for Chandanotsavam, the annual festival of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at Simhachalam, from Saturday midnight with priests performing special rituals.

Around three lakh devotees are expected to visit the temple on the day, including from Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Endowments minister Kottu Satyanarayana, along with local MLAs, held a meeting with officials with regard to arrangements and the smooth flow of devotees.

It is on Chandanotsavam Day that devotees can see the original form (Nijaroopa Darshanam) of the deity. Sandalwood paste that otherwise covers the Lord during the rest of the year is removed on the day after performing various pujas.

Rituals of Chandanotsavam will begin at 3 a.m. on Sunday after the first darshan. Prior to that, hereditary trustee and temple chairman P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju will offer silk robes to the deity, following which public will be allowed.

Collector Dr. A Mallikarjuna, who visited the temple on Thursday, said toilets, drinking water kiosks and transport facilities have been arranged. Officials have been instructed to give priority to elderly and differently-abled people visiting the temple on the day. Police commissioner Trivikram Varma, who accompanied the collector, said tight security will be in place for the festival.

Owing to the festival, meat shops and liquor outlets in Simhachalam town will remain closed for two days beginning Saturday.

Entry tickets have been priced at ₹300, ₹1,000 and ₹1,500.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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