12-day-long ‘Godavari Pushkaralu’ begins today in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana

Hyderabad(PTI): The 12-day-long ‘Godavari Pushkaram’ begins today in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with crores of devotees expected to take part in the mega congregation for which elaborate arrangements have been put in place in both states.

Similar to the ‘Kumbh melas’, celebrated by the banks of the holy rivers of India, ‘Pushkaram’ is held every 12 years in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Taking a dip in Godavari river is the main feature of the festival.

The event this year is special as it marks the ‘Maha Pushkaram’, which comes once in every 144 years.

“This is very significant from the astronomical point of view. The conjunction of ‘Brihaspati’ (Jupiter) entering into ‘Simha rasi’ (zodiac sign of Leo),” Advisor (Communications) to Andhra Pradesh government, Parakala Prabhakar, who heads a committee on ‘Pushkaram’, said earlier.

Andhra Pradesh government has made elaborate arrangements as it expects about 3.5 to 4 crore people to take part in the event. There are 263 bathing ghats in the East and West Godavari districts in coastal Andhra where the pilgrims can take the holy dip while Telangana has 106 such ghats.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who will be taking a holy dip early tomorrow at Rajahmundry, has urged the people to become a part of the celebration as Godavari is the lifeline of the state.

Telangana government, too, is taking every measure to ensure the smooth conduct of the festival. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will take a holy dip in the river at Dharmapuri in Karimnagar district.