Amaravati, Oct 17 (PTI): The nine-day Dasara festival in Andhra Pradesh got off to a colourful start at the historic Kanaka Durga temple atop the Indrakeeladri in Vijayawada on Saturday.
On day one, Kanaka Durga, the presiding deity, was goddess decorated in glittering gold, killing a demon with a trident.
The Dasara festivities atop Indrakeeladri are a state event.
As per tradition, city Police Commissioner B Srinivasulu 'presented' silk Saree to the Goddess to mark the inauguration of the festivities.
Keralas 'chanda' (drum) artists played rhythmic tunes with devotional fervour, standing as a special attraction.
Due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, entry of devotees to the temple was restricted to only a few thousand a day and only those who purchased tickets online were allowed.
The special sevas, normally conducted in the temple amid the devotees, have now been confined only to the virtual mode.
Chandiyagam will be performed at 7.30 AM on all festival days at the Sivalayam.
On the first day, the darshan time has been restricted from 9 AM to 8 PM, but from Sunday it will start at 5 AM, according to the Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy varla Devasthanam Executive Officer M V Suresh Babu.
On October 21, the very auspicious 'moola nakshatram' day when the Goddess is decorated as Saraswati Devi, darshan will start at 3 AM.
Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy will present 'pattu vastrams' (silk clothes) to the Goddess on behalf of the state government on October 21. PTI DBV APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH