Thousands of devotees gathered atop the iconic Chamundi Hills on Tuesday to celebrate the birthday of Goddess Chamundeshwari or the Vardhanthi Mahotsava of the Goddess.
The ongoing strike by the KSRTC employees severely affected the number of devotees. More than 50,000 devotees usually make a beeline to the temple on Vardhanthi Mahotsava and on Tuesday, only 7,000 to 8,000 devotees had a darshan of the Goddess and performed puja ceremonies.
The devotees were ferried from the Lalitha Mahal Helipad to the temple in 25 private buses. Though the district administration had fixed the price as Rs 10 for one way trip, passengers were charged Rs 15 per trip. A to and fro trip cost them Rs 30.
The Vardhanthi, popularly known as Ammanavara Vardhanthi is one of the most popular festivals observed in Mysuru.
The Vardhanthi is observed on the Revathi Nakshathra day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Aashada. Though it is observed as the birthday of the Goddess, in the real sense it marks the day when Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar installed an “Utsava Murthi” or the idol’s replica inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
The festivities began with chants of Vedic Hymns in praise of the Goddess and Rudrabhisheka and Panchamruta Abhisheka, Sahasranamaarchane and Maha Mangalaarathi were performed. Scion of Mysore royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, his wife Trishika Yaduveer and Rajmatha Pramoda Devi attended the rituals and pulled the palanquin.
The palanquin that carried the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari was brought from the Mysuru palace especially for the Vardhanthi. The idol was adorned with flowers of various hues and jewels and the devotees cheered the Goddess as the palanquin was carried around the temple.