KURNOOL: With Tungabhadra Pushkarams coming to an end in next three days, visitors are heading to Pushkar ghats all along the course of the river in Kurnool district braving rains and chilly winds.
Mantralayam and Sangameshwaram ghats are attracting the maximum number of visitors. Various authorities say compared to 2008 Pushkarams, about one lakh lesser devotees have reached the ghats for various religious rituals due to the scare of Covid-19 pandemic.
The number of visitors at the pump house ghat was 447 out of whom just 47 offered Pinda Pradanams. 287 had shower baths while the remaining took a holy dip in the river despite the associated Coronavirus risk.
Authorities have been warning through mikes that taking a dip in the river has been banned in view of Covid-19 virus spreading through the water from any infected persons taking a dip. Most devotees did not take the warning seriously.
Kaipa Venkata Murthy, a visitor from Secunderabad, said, "What is Pushkar bath without a dip in the river? We are aware of Covid and have maintained physical distancing and have sanitised ourselves. This quick dip in river is essential to propitiate our forefathers."
M. Sridhar from Cooperative Colony in Kadapa, however, said his family had a shower bath and offered Pushkar pujas to minimise the threat of Coronavirus.
H. Hanumantha Rao from Nellore said facilities like separate enclosure for men and women to change clothes at the ghats have been really convenient.
Despite rains and chilly weather, most visitors, whether from Andhra Pradesh or neighbouring states of Telangana and Karnataka, preferred early morning visits to the ghats. Footfalls thinned by the evening.
However, some visitors expressed apprehensions of drain water mixing with river waters at some of the ghat points.