The annual Chandanotsavam festival of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Simhachalam is on May 14, 2021. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chandonotsavam www not conducted in 2020. According to reports, the authorities are not planning to conduct the utsavam as the number of coronavirus cases are increasing in Andhra Pradesh.
The annual event is also called Nijaroopa Darshanam, which generally happens on Vaisakha Sudda Tadiya, popularly known as Akshaya Tritiya. The deity is kept covered with an unctuous preparation of sandal paste. Once a year, this sandal paste will be removed in a ceremony at the festival called Chandanayatra (Chandanotsavam) and Nijaroopa Darshanam will be provided to devotees.
Lakhs of people from the State and the neighbouring Odisha throng the hilltop shrine for the nijaroopa darshan of Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. The ‘Chandanotsavam’ is being performed for more than 11 centuries now according to the temple history. This is the most important festival that takes place in the temple, it added.
Besides, there are many kinds of Poojas that are held in the temple. The two important ones are:
Nitya Kalyanam: Ticket cost will be Rs 1,000. This Kalyanam is conducted daily by the priest at the temple. The temple authorities provide free saree and Sesha vastram of Narasimha Swamy along with 6 Ladoos, 2 Pulihora packets. They allow free darshanam for 6 members and also provide free dining facility at Annadanam.
Swarnapushparchana: This puja is conducted every Thursday and Sunday between 7.00 AM - 8.00 AM and the ticket cost is Rs 2,116. The devotees will be given a shawl and a blouse piece along with 2 Ladoos and 2 Pulihora packets.
On Chandanotsavam day, there will be no special pujas conducted at the temple. Usually, the festival is a grand affair, with priests, the public and patrons and Vedic scholars participate in a big way. But due to Covid-19, the authorities are in dilemma over conducting the festival as a grand celebration.
The state government is taking all precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. It is expected that the number of cases in the state may go down in the month of May. If everything goes well, the authorities may plan to conduct the utsavam with the minimum number of people.