Kotappakonda gears up for festival

The hill shrine of Kotappakonda, the temporal abode of Trikoteswara Swamy, located 13 km away from Narasaraopet is all decked up for Mahasivaratri festivities beginning on Tuesday.

Lakhs of devotees from various parts of the State are expected to converge at the temple. Chanting ‘Hara Hara Mahadev,’ the devotees climb up the hill on foot. The village comes alive on the eve of the festival with a carnival like atmosphere.

The highlight of the festival here is the presence of lofty illuminated ‘prabhalu,’ made of bamboo and decorated with coloured cloth and paper. Some of them are as tall as 60-70 feet and are carried on bullock carts. This year the organisers said that 13 ‘prabhalu’ would be present at the foothills of the hill.

RTC is operating special buses from the bus station complex in Guntur and as well as from other districts. The police have made elaborate ‘bandobast’ arrangements. Superintendent of Police, Guntur Rural, P.H.D. Ramakrishna said that three ASPs, 15 DSPs, 100 CIs and 200 SIs would man the routes to the hill shrine.

A host of VIPs including Ministers are expected to be present. Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao has taken a lot of personal interest in augmenting facilities. The State government apart from according ‘State Festival’ status, has appointed an Officer on Special Duty for the festival.

The deity on the top of hill shrine is in the shape of Sivalinga and is known as Trikoteswara Swamy. A steep flight of steps lead to the hill and the deity is located at a height of 1,587 feet.

Illuminated `prabhalu’- the main attraction of the festival

Stone laid for ‘Veda Pathasala’

Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for a ‘Veda Pathasala,’ on the hill shrine at Kotappakonda near Narsaraopet.

The vedic school would be constructed by TTD at a cost of Rs. 4.15 crore. Classes would begin from June, 2015, at TTD pilgrim house, Mr. Siva Prasada Rao said at Kotappakonda. Joint Executive Officer, TTD, Kola Bhaskar, was present.

A ropeway would be built in the next couple of years and a deer park would be set up on the foot hills, he said. Two giant statues of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu would also be erected atop the hill shrine with a cost of Rs.74 lakh.

The vedic school will be constructed by Tirumala Tirupathi Devastanam at a cost of Rs. 4.15 crore and classes will begin in June, says Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao