The Sri Rama Navami celebrations at the famous temple town of Bhadrachalam was held today in a simple manner, with only temple priests, pundits and officials who attended the Sri Rama Kalyanam unlike every year, where thousands of people attend these celebrations.
The low-key ceremony saw participation by a couple of state ministers and officials besides a few priests. On behalf of the state government, Endowments Minister P. Indrakaran Reddy, Transport Minister P. Ajay Kumar, government advisor K.V. Ramanachari made the offerings to the temple.
About 40 people, some of them wearing face masks, attended the ceremony conducted by the priests in the temple premises. Every year thousands of people from both the Telugu states travel to Bhadrachalam to attend the celestial wedding of Lord Rama with his consort Sita. Several devotees had booked the temple tickets online but the authorities cancelled them and returned their money. Ajay Kumar said this was done to prevent gathering of devotees in view of the lockdown.
The Kalyanam ceremony is usually held annually at the Mithila Stadium in a very grand manner, but this year the Sitarama Kalyana Mahotsavam was celebrated in the precincts of the main Mandapam at the temple.
The devotees across the Telugu states were able to view the live coverage of the Kalyanam through television, which was held between 10 AM and 12.30PM. It may be noted that Seeta Rama Kalyam at Bhadradri which was being celebrated in the presence of devotees for the past 300 years since the period of Bhaktha Ramadasu suffered a break for the first time this year.
With no public congregation allowed and temples remaining shut across both Telugu states, the devouts performed puja and conducted other rituals at home.
Authorities in both the states had also appealed to people not to visit any temple on the occasion of Ram Navami
In a similar way, Sitarama Kalyana Mahotsavam was celebrated in the famous Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple in Vontimitta at Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh. Only the temple officials and the priests of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) temple were present at the Kalyana Mahotsavam. YSR Congress Party MLA Meda Venkata Mallikarjuna Reddy presented the silk garments to lord Sri Rama on behalf of the state government.
Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and his Telangana counterpart Tamilisai Soundararajan conveyed their greetings to people. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao conveyed his greetings to the people. He prayed to God to bestow blessings to people in the state to be happy, healthy, and prosperous with longevity. While extending his greetings, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy appealed to people to celebrate the festival in their homes in view of the coronavirus threat. He prayed for the wellbeing and prosperity of the people.