Shakambari Devi festival is a special occasion for transforming the presiding deity goddess Kanaka Durga at the Indrakeeladri into goddess Sakambari Devi in Ashada masam of Telugu calendar.
The annual Shakambari Devi festival, which is celebrated for three days, will commence at Kanaka Durga temple from Friday. The event, however, will be a low- key affair this year in view of the COVID-19 guidelines.
Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam has spruced up the temple precincts with vegetables of all kinds, including brinjal, cucumber, green chillies, carrot, and leafy vegetables.
The presiding deity is being decked up before throwing open the temple for darshan on Friday.
Temple Executive Officer M.V. Suresh Babu said that the devotees, who booked slots for darshan through online, would have to follow the COVID-19 guidelines like social distancing, wearing of masks and use of sanitisers. Devotees would be allowed for darshan from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival begins with Ganapati pooja and poornahuti of Chandi homam on July 5, he said.
Traders, devotees and farmers have donated vegetables weighing four tonnes this year. The devotees believe that Shakambari festival is an occasion to propitiate her for bountiful rain and good harvest of food, grains, and vegetables.
What started on a modest note in 2007 at Kanaka Durga temple has turned into a grand affair after more than a decade. The donations were fewer than 10 tonnes when the new tradition was introduced. As the ritual gained acceptance, devotees and traders began flooding the Indrakeeladri with vegetables and fruits.
The ritual slowly spread to other temples. A new trend of propitiating the gods has set in. Now, about 90 temples across the Krishna district are adopting the practices and these traditions.