are thousands of centres, religious or secular where weekly, monthly
or annual fairs are held. Every village and town in Anantapur has some
kind of temple or place of worship where religious festivals are held
accompanied by fairs. Some of them are of local importance, others
have a wider significance.These places
attract millions of devotees throughout the year, and the rituals observed
here are traditional, in accordance with the Agamas.
in Narasaraopet taluk of Guntur district is a temple of Koteseswara
Swamy, a chief place of worship. On the Mahashivarathri day, a big
fair is held and lakhs of people participate in it. Sweet meats, clothes,
bangles, toys, bamboo articles, and also goats, cows and other domestic
animals are sold in this fair. Devotees who come here take a vow and
get their heads shaved. Many of them come to the hill from their villages
with decorated and lighted prabhas to redeem their vows. These prabhas
number about five hundred at the fair. Some of them are nearly thirty
- five metres high and are expense.
The Kalyanotsavam of Sambhulingeswara
is celebrated during Mahasivaratri for five days. On the first day,
Prabhas are taken out in procession. Kalyanam, village procession,
Rathotsavam Ponnaseva, Vasantotsavam and Pavalimpuseva are performed
on the following days. Cash, silver and gold ornaments, coconuts, fruits
and flowers are offered to the Lord. Devotees also offer cows and calves,
tying - them to the Dhwajasthambha in fulfillment of their vows. It
is believed that childless women who perform puja for five days, wearing
wet clothes, would be blessed with children. Fasting and Jagaranam
are also observed. A large five-day fair including a cattle fair is
held near the temple.
is celebrated for four days in the month of Bhadrapada. On the first
day, the water for worship is brought from a near by river Majira.
On the second day, a buffalo intended for sacrifice is taken to the
river. After worshipping the water-goddess, the buffalo is washed there.
It is then decorated and brought to the temple in a procession to the
accompaniment of music. The next day the buffalo is sacrificed and
after that devotees sacrifice innumerable jowls, goats, rams and buffaloes.
In the evening, the ground in-front of the temple is cleaned and a
heap of cooked rice and mutton is kept as offering to the deity. An
unbaked earthen pot is buried up to its neck and a winnow is placed
over it. A woman sits on the winnow and apparently possessed predicts
future events. A man representing poturaju, the brother of Durgamma,
is smeared with turmeric and vermilion and decorated round his head,
neck and waist with margosa leaves. He goes round the temple and kills
a sacrificial lamb by biting its throat. On the last day, devotees
go round the temple with bomalu (puppets). Carts and bullocks decorated
with flowers and coloured sarees are taken round the temple. Prasadam
is distributed. A fair is held here during the festival.