Covid not halting marriages in N Andhra; events to be held with curbs

Around 60 to 70 marriages will be held on most auspicious days atop the Simhachalam temple shrine

Visakhapatnam: Covid is no threat to thousands of Hindu marriages being held in north coastal Andhra Pradesh from February 2. The virus was a big worry last year and the year before but there is palpable relief now.

Marriages are being held in temples, Kalyana mandapams and hotels depending on the financial status of the families but no cancellation has been reported from any of the north coastal districts. People rather cut down the number of guests, limiting them to less than 200.

“We have not received any cancellations. We will insist on the Covid protocol and restriction in the number of guests to 100 for indoor events and 200 for outdoors,’’ said executive officer of Simhachalalm temple, Suryakala.

Well-known priest of Visakhapatnam, Moola Ramu, said marriages would be begin from the auspicious days of February 2 (Satabisha Nakshatram), February 6 (Rohini and Aswini), February 10 (Rohini), February 11 (Mrigasira) and February 19 (Uttara and Hasta). February 10 and February 11 are the most auspicious days this year, he said.

“There will be no marriage from February 20 to March 20 due to Mudham and auspicious days begin from March 21 and continue till June end,’’ he said.

Around 60 to 70 marriages will be held on most auspicious days atop the Simhachalam temple shrine. Even if Covid restrictions are followed, there would be around 7,000 people arriving for these on any given day, said Siripurapu Shankar, well-versed with the administrative affairs of the temple.

“Families mostly from rural areas of south Odisha and north coastal Andhra prefer Simhachalam, Annavaram and Arasavalli (Srikakulam) and the crowding will be less compared to the events of the middle and upper-middle class who organise marriages in function halls and hotels,’’ Shankar said.

YSRC leader Bhaskar Rao said people have paid advances and will not cancel the marriages at this stage though the Covid numbers have marginally risen of late. They might reduce the number like last year, he said.

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