Udupi, (The Hindu): The stage is set for Maha Navaratri festival at the famous Sri Mookambika Temple at Kollur in Udupi district from October 10 to 19.
The temple, established by the exponent of Advaita philosophy, Sri Adi Sankaracharya, attracts a large number of devotees from the State, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh.
The festival will begin with kalasha sthapane ritual at 6.15 a.m. on Wednesday. The Chandika Yaga will be performed on the Mahanavami at 11.30 a.m. and the Rathotsava at 1 p.m. on October 18.
The Vidyarambha ceremony, which marks the initiation of children into education, will be held on the Vijayadasami day on October 19. This ceremony will be held at the Saraswati Mandir in the temple from 4 a.m. The symbol “Om” is written on the tongues of children, aged between two and three, with a turmeric twig. They then write letters of the alphabet on rice grains. About 2,000 children are expected to participate in this ceremony.
The Vijayotsava will be held at 5.30 p.m. the same evening. During the Vijayotasva, the utsavamurthy of Goddess Mookambika will be carried to the Shukla Tirtha, a kilometre from Kollur, and brought back. The goddess is decorated in a different style on each day of the nine days of the festival.
Harishkumar M. Shetty, president, Temple Managing Committee, said that breakfast will be provided to devotees till October 19, while meals will be provided at noon and night. Cultural programmes will be held daily from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Swarnamukhi Mantap.
“We have already spoken to the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to run special buses from Byndoor and Kundapur to the temple during the festival,” he said.
According to Krishnamurthy H., Assistant Executive Officer of the temple, a helpdesk has been set up at the temple entrance. Vehicle parking facilities have been made at the High School Grounds and near the Bus Stand. An emergency healthcare centre has been set up at the Jagadambika Administrative Block, he said.
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