1,100 priests, a mega ritual: Telangana CM to keep statehood vow

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
  • Updated: Dec 22, 2015 12:29 IST
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will be fulfilling the vow he had taken four years ago to organise the yagam if a separate Telangana state became a reality. (HT Photo)

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s farmhouse near Hyderabad is all decked up to host Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam, a mega religious ritual he is organising for “world peace and well-being of people of the state”.

With the five-day yagam beginning on December 23, Rao will be fulfilling the vow he had taken four years ago to organise the yagam if a separate Telangana state became a reality.

The sprawling 120-acre farmhouse at Erravalli in Medak district is all set to host the mega event, which will witness the participation of President Pranab Mukherjee, governors of Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and two central ministers.

Supreme Court judges NV Ramana and J Chelameswar, Hyderabad high court chief justice Dileep Bhosale, state ministers, MPs, state legislators, other public representatives, celebrities and industrialists are among 40,000 people invited by KCR.

About Rs 6-7 crore will be spent on it but Rao said not a single rupee will be spent from the public exchequer. “I am spending from my account and my friends have come forward to make arrangements,” he said.

As a prelude to the yagam, Rao and his wife Shobharani participated in Ganapati puja and other rituals on Monday.

Though it is a personal yagam, Rao said it would be open to all, provided they observe discipline.

A mega yagashala, a structure made of bamboo and paddy straw over 40,000 square feet, has come up with 106 yagna kundas or homagundams (fire pits).

It is here that 1,100 priests will chant 700 mantras 10,000 times in one voice non-stop from 7 am to 12:30pm and again from 3:45 pm to 7pm on all five days to appease Goddess Durga.

Rao has roped in 1,500 priests from seven states to perform the rituals while the entire event will be controlled by Sringeri Peetham of Karnataka.

The materials to be used for the yagam include 4,000 kg of cow ghee, 20 tonnes of moduga firewood and 12 tonnes of payasam (rice boiled in milk with sugar).

“The entire environment and the society would flourish where the mother of mothers and the mother of the Universe, Chandika is worshipped. No destruction, no tragedy, no sorrow, no disease, no poverty, no misery of any kind would dare to enter into such a place,” says the invitation.

Airconditioned cottages have come up for VIPs and seers from various Hindu religious institutions. Barricades have been put around the yagashala to enable people to witness the rituals.

A separate structure has been put up with seating arrangements for 10,000 people to witness the rituals on big screens.

No one can enter the yagashala without wearing special deeksha clothes.

The organisers have made arrangements for providing food and ‘prasadam’ for 50,000 people every day. Five helipads and parking arrangements for 25,000 vehicles have been made in and around the farmhouse.

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