KURNOOL: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will declare open Tungabhadra Pushkarams at 1:21 pm at Sankalbagh ghat on the banks of river Tungabhadra here on Friday.
The Chief Minister will offer Pushkar Harathi to the holy river invoking its blessings for the peace and prosperity of the State. The 12 day-event that concludes on December 1 is expected to attract three to four million pilgrims.
Though Pushkarams are synonymous with the holy dip in the river, Covid-19 is taking away most of the pushkar fervour as pilgrims would only be permitted to have a sprinkle shower instead of a holy dip. Ironically, the Telangana state government has permitted the holy dip on its side of the river, notably at Alampur, provided the pilgrims furnish a corona negative report.
Finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy appealed to people to participate in a simple manner. He said the ghats will be open from 6 am to 6 pm on all days. People must produce E-ticket to enter and perform pinda pradhan and other pujas. 350 purohits will be available at 23 ghats. Purohits above 60 are not allowed to perform. District collector G Veeta Pandia said that the E ticket website is an easy to use app and can be accessed on mobile phones.
Kurnool city has been enveloped with a festive atmosphere as dazzling electrical colorful lightings, illuminations, wall paintings and other decorations have come to life at all key circles in the city.
Meanwhile, 23 pushkar ghats have been set up in Mantralayam temple town, Naguladinne in Nandavaram mandal, Gundrevula in Kodumur mandal, Sunkesusla and Panchalingala in Kurnool mandal, various parts of Kurnool city, Nandikotkur rural, and Sangameswaram in Kothapalli mandal.
A huge Yagasala has been set up at Sankalbhag for yagnas.
Tungabhadra river enters Kurnool district at Kowthalam and ends at Sangameshwaram.