HYDERABAD: Lakes and tanks across the city and the Musi river were largely deserted during the nine-day Saddula Bathukamma festivities due to Coronavirus pandemic.
Women restricted themselves to functions within their bylanes. Only a few stepped out while adhering to physical distancing rules.
However, ‘Naivedyam’, including five types of rice dishes, were offered to the Goddess amid dance performances and a variety of programmes across the city.
Saturday also saw temples being decked up for Dasara on Sunday, which will mark the celebration of Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana and slaying of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga. Local festival committees, including the Bengali Samithi, have drawn up various programmes for the day — Puja for household and work tools, books, vehicles and other articles.
Traffic police have asked commuters to follow alternative routes owing to the immersion ceremony to be held on Tank Bund and along Necklace Road. Traffic coming from Panjagutta, Somajiguda and Raj Bhavan Road will proceed via Nirankari, Old Saifabad PS, Iqbal Minar, Ambedkar Statue towards Secunderabad and Basheerbagh. Traffic from Iqbal Minar, Liberty and Telugu Thalli will proceed via Old Saifabad PS and Lakdikapul towards Mehdipatnam or Khairatabad. Vehicle traffic coming towards Tank Bund from Secunderabad side will be diverted at Children's Park towards Lower Tank Bund based on the density of vehicles carrying Durga idols for immersion.
A report from Warangal said that women residing in apartments played Bathukamma within their complexes and in parking places instead of going to temples.
“This time our celebrations were subdued because of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, we must keep the festival spirit alive and ensure the traditions are followed,” said C Hema Sree of Kashibugga, Warangal.