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First Ashada Shukravara: Rituals held at Chamundi Hills sans devotees

100 years ago, the Wadiyar of Mysuru too offered prayers to Goddess from outside the temple

Mysuru, June 26:- Ashada Shukravara is a holy occasion to pray to Goddess Chamundeshwari. Every year, lakhs of devotees throng to Chamundi Hills on Ashada Shukravaras to seek blessings from Goddess Chamundeshwari. Due to coronavirus pandemic, entry of devotees to Chamundi Hills has been prohibited this year. The first Friday of the holy Ashada month was observed at the temple without devotees.

The temple has been decorated with flowers. After plague affecting Mysuru decades back, a century later, a pandemic has forced the century-old temple to close the doors. During the plague, even the Wadiyar of Mysuru too offered prayers to Goddess from outside the temple. After nearly a century, another pandemic has forced the devotees to stay away from the temple during Ashada Shukravara.

“I have heard the stories of devotees not entering the temple due to plague from my great grandfather Ekambara Dixit and grandfather Narayana Dixit. Now it has come to my experience as well. People have to offer prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari from home as entry to the temple is prohibited. Prayers will be offered to the Goddess like every year. Rudrabhisheka is being held from 4:30 am. The prayers and offerings will be held during all the 4 Ashada Shukravara,” said the priest of the temple, Dr Shashishekhar Dixit.

“There is no instance of the temple being closed for the devotees. But I have heard my ancestors saying the king alone came on his horse to the temple to offer prayers to the Goddess during cholera and plague,” said a resident of Chamundi Hills, Veerabhadra Swamy.

Rituals begin at 4:30 am and decorations to Goddess will be completed by 7:30 am followed by maha mangalarati. Abhisheka will be held at 6:30 pm and the temple will be closed at 8 pm.

Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G Sankar said that public entry to Chamundi Hills, Uttanahalli Jwalamukhi Tripura Sundari Temple is prohibited as a measure of precaution. He said that no permission is given to distribute prasadam to devotees anywhere. (MR/KS)

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