The 12-day event to go on till Dec. 1; 5 pushkara ghats arranged in Gadwal dist.
Tungabhadra Pushkaralu, the spiritual event that recurs every 12 years, was off to a cautious start at Alampur in Jogulamba-Gadwal district on Friday with several precautions in place in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The event commenced at the auspicious time of 1.23 p.m., the time fixed by the spiritual leaders coinciding the entry of Brihaspathi (planet Jupiter) into Capricorn zodiacal sign as per the Hindu almanac with seers -Madhavananda Swamy of Thoguta Peetham and Kamalananda Bharati Swamy of Hindu Devalay Pratishthan offering prayers and ‘harathi’ and performing puja to the river goddess.
Ministers A. Indrakaran Reddy (Endowments), S. Niranjan Reddy (Agriculture) and V. Srinivas Goud (Cultural Affairs) were present on the occasion. The Ministers also offered prayers at Jogulamba temple, considered the fifth of the 18 Shakti Peethas in the country.
Later, the Ministers along with their family members had a holy dip in the river waters at the Pushkara Ghat near Jogulamba temple in Alampur. The State government has arranged four other pushakara ghats at Veni Sompur, Rajoli, Pullur and Kalugotla – all in the Gadwal district.
According to officials, the government placed professional swimmers at all the pushkara ghats to attend to any emergency condition of drowning of devotees.
Alampur MLA V.M. Abraham, Endowments Commissioner V. Anil Kumar, District Collector Shruthi Ojha, Superintendent of Police Ranjan Ratan Kumar and others also attended the inaugural event.
Speaking later, Mr. Indrakaran Reddy said the State government had made all arrangements with COVID precautions so that visiting pilgrims and devotees feel safe and comfortable. Apart from thermal screening for temperature of all visitors to the pushkara ghats, the government has also kept ample of number of test kits (rapid antigen) for screening the visitors for COVID-19.
The officials at pushkara ghats have been instructed to accept test reports got conducted by visitors during the last couple of days elsewhere.
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