Devotees throng Keesaragutta on the occassion of Maha Shivaratri.
Guntur: People of seven villages in Kotappakonda spent Rs 2.5 crore for 14 electric ‘prabhalu’ (chariots) as part of Maha Shivaratri. Residents of Purushottamapatnam, Appapuram,
Kammavartipalem, Kavuru, Maddirala, Yadavalli and Ameensahebpalem are known to have been taking out a chariot processions for the past 300 years spending their own money.
The celebrations attract people in large numbers from AP, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other areas as the ‘tall electric prabhalu’ are a major attraction. The chariot has decorated arches with Lord Siva’s replicas made of bamboo. Villagers also display flags of political parties.
It is customary for people from Kavuru village to bring the ‘prabhalu’. Residents of Kavuru, P. Ramaiah and D. Srinu, said it would cost Rs 15 to Rs 30 lakh to make one chariot and all the people in the village, irrespective of religion, contributed and take part.
The residents of Purushotammapatnam brought seven chariots of different families — Vidadalavari, Thota Pullappa Thata, Mandalaneni, Bhaira, Chinnathota and Yadavarajula, including one representing the village. It is local belief that those bringing chariots to the hilltop Trikoteswara temple would be blessed with knowledge, wealth, health and wisdom.
New norms introduced by the police brought an end to dance by cine and drama artistes on the chariots.
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