Chikkamagaluru: An estimated 13, 000 pilgrims from various parts of the state descended on the Baba budangiri Hills in Chikka magaluru on Satur day to offer prayers on the last day of the Datta Jayanti.
The three-day ritual organised at the disputed Dattareya Peeta atop the hill by the Rashtriya Swayam sevak Sangha, Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the BJP passed off peacefully with the police keeping a hawk's eye on the proceedings.
Despite the cold in the hills, devotees washed themselves in a stream, the Honnamamana Halla, before beginning their journey to the cave shrine, wearing a Datta mala and carrying offerings for the deity on their heads.
The police had tightened security and deployed forces at strategic spots to prevent a repeat of last year's violence when a few saffron activists had hoisted a saffron flag at the disputed site, leading to tension in the Bababudangiri Hills. The police had to cane the devotees to restore order.
Thankfully, there was no such incident this time and Chikkamagaluru Superin tendent of Police, Harish Pandey, told reporters that vehicles made their way easily to the hill-top this year as the road had been widened. As many as a 1,000 vehicles ferrying devotees had gone up the hill without causing any traffic snarls, he said. Among the prominent BJP leaders, who visited the cave shrine, were MLA C.T. Ravi and Lok Sabha member, Shobha Karandlaje. Both leaders urged the state government to give ownership of the disputed site to Hindus without more delay....