Maha Sivaratri was celebrated with traditional enthusiasm and religious fervour across Prakasam district on Friday.
Garlands with 1.11 crore rudraksha beads were tastefully arranged at the Kasi Visweswara shrine in Santhapeta Sai Baba temple here. Tens of thousands of devotees witnessed the grand spectacle with reverence till late in the night when a group of 50 priests led by Mattampalli Dakshinamurthy performed the celestial marriage of Lord Parameswara with Parvati at the temple after Rudra Homam. Later, the rudraksha beads with two to 14 faces, which were specially procured from Nepal for the worship, were distributed among devotees.
Devotees woke up early morning to perform abhishekam to the Lord as also Bilwarchana. Observing day-long fast, devotees also thronged Bhairavakona named after Kala Bhairava, a fiery form of Lord Siva, near Ambapuram village in Chandrasekarapuram mandal.
A heavy rush of devotees was also witnessed at Jambulapalem to worship 1,116 Sivalingas tastefully decorated on the occasion.
Chants of ‘Om Nama Sivaya’ rented the air in the Amaralingeswaraswamy temple at Manetikota in Ulavapadu mandal, Pathala Nageswaraswamy temple at Giddalur, Ramakoteswaraswamy temple at Chinnaganjam and Lingothbava Swamy temple at Chadalawada. Devotees maintained night vigil for ‘Lingothbhav’ darshan at, among other temples, Tripurantakeswara temple at Tripurantakam.
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) pressed into service more than 500 special bus services to Sivaite shrines within and outside the district.