Lakhs of pilgrims are expected to visit the Chamundi Hills on July 8 on the occasion of the first Ashada Shukravara (first Friday of the Hindu month of Ashada) to offer prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of Mysuru.
This is an annual religious ritual that coincides with the culmination of “Ashada,” in the Hindu calendar, the significant feature which draws devotees from across the region is the procession which involves the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari being placed on a colourfully decorated palanquin and taken around the temple premises.
The temple will be open for devotees from 5. 30 am to 10 am. The auspicious day will commence with Panchamahurtha, Rudrabhisheka and Sahastranama archane. About 30 priests led by Chandrapasad Dixit will perform the pujas at the temple.
Like every year, Chamundeshwari Seva Samiti which has been offering Anna Santharpane and sweet distribution programme, is preparing 10,000 ladoos and more than 25,000 Kadam dry fruits, a Bengali dish, to be distributed to devotees as prasadam. Around 25 cooks are involved in preparing the food and sweets at Nithyananda Kalyana Mantap in Vidyaranyapuram. The menu for Anna Santharpane will include bisibele baath, kesaribath, rice, sambar and sweets.
The district administration has installed CCTV cameras both inside and outside the temple. It has also introduced battery-operated vehicles to help aged people atop the hill. Thousands of people are expected to visit the Chamundi Temple on the first day of Ashada Shukravara and the turnout would be more on Chamudeshwari Vardhanthi on July 26.
As many as 20 buses have been deployed to ferry visitors from the Helipad to Chamundi Hills and movement of private vehicles has been banned. The pilgrims visiting Chamundi Hill must park their vehicles at the helipad and then travel in the free buses.