Sri Sita Rama temple, Bhadrachalam, A P - Mukkoti Vaikunta Ekadasi festival follows the tradition of Srirangam Perumal temple

Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple, Bhadrachalam, AP

Above image: Bhadrachalam Sri Rama temple,A.P: The central sanctum sanctorum of Bhadrachalam, with the Sudarshana Chakra at the top and the miniature of the temple's deity..............

At Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple, Bhadrachalam, Andhra Pradesh, the presiding deity is Sri Rama, seventh avatar  of Lord Vishnu. Located on the banks of the Godavari River,  this historical temple (associated with Bhakta Ramadas, a great devotee of Sri Rama) is one of the Divya Kshetrams and is also known  as Dakshina Ayodhya. Vishnu appeared to Meru’s child Bhadra as Sri Rama  and  overlooked that Rama was a mortal human and showed up as Vaikuntha Sri Rama with four hands.  There are idols of Rama's consort Sita and brother Sri  Lakshmana as moolavars in the sanctum. At Sri Ramachandra swamy temple, Bhadrachalam, AP Vaikunta Ekadashi festival is  an important festival being attended by lots of devotees
Sita Ramachandra swamy temple, Bhadrachalam, AP

Sri Ramachandra swamy temple, Bhadrachalam, AP.

Sri Sita Rama Chandra Swamy Devastanam Vaikunta Ekadasi Prayuktha Adhyanothsavams ( Mukkoti Utswavalu) will begin with appropriate puja protocols.  On the day of Vaikunta Ekadashi festival, the utchava deities of Lord Rama, consort Sita  and brother  Lakshmana are taken out in a religious  procession through the Uttara Dwara  and will give darshan at 5 to 6 am to devotees. The traditional rituals are  quite similar to those being followed in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. 

An interesting fact here is the Vaikunta Ekadasi celebrations held here  are based on the traditions of  Srirangam Ranganathar temple, TN.  As in Srirangam and srivilliputhur, Tamil Nadu, festivities include  Pagalpattu, Rapathu and Viasothsavalu  The main event of the celebrations Teppothsavam ( float festival ) is organised on river Godavari in evening hours and Utta Dwaradarshnam will be held on the following day at the temple in early hours.

 Bhadrachalam temple Ekadasi float festival

During the Vaikunta Ekadasi  festival, Lord Rama will appear in Dasavatharams, the first one being Matcha avatar.The festival will commence with  Adyayanoschavalu ritual and the idol of Sri Rama will appear in  Machyavatharam  and the last one is  Krishna avatar. This followed by float festival ( Teppothsavam ) and Uttara Dwaradashanam. On the concluding day( Viswarupa seva will be conducted on the temple premises.

According to  the Bhadradri Kshetra Mahatyam (Importance of Bhadradri) in the Brahma Purana, devotees who visit the temple here  and seek  the blessings of Vaikuntha Rama on the annual  Vaikunta Ekadasi,  shall be granted  Vaikuntha propthi - salvation in Sri Vishnu's abode. The Agama text Paramapurusha Samhita  has mentioned that the devotees should pray to Sri. Vishnu seated on the Garuda Vahana  while being  taken in the procession through the Vaikunta Dwara  - North gate to fulfill their wish of gaining salvation. 

On the day of Vaikuntha Ekadashi in the early morning, the utsava idols of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana on the Garuda vahanam will be carried  by the Vaishnavites through the Vaikuntha Dwaram- Sorgha vassal. Later devotees are allowed to  pass through the Vaikuntha Dwaram.

Yet another event as part of  prelude to Vaikuntha Ekadashi, is Teppotsavam (the float festival) that is celebrated  with pomp and religious fervor. A boat  shaped like swan named Hamsa vahanam is used  for the procession of the utsava idols on  the waters of the near-by Godavari River.  During the Teppotsavam  4 pm to 8 pm the entire place is well-lit, using flood lights for the benefit of devotees  to enjoy this annual event with  colorful fireworks at night  The  decorated boat carrying the idols makes five long circles in the water and normally about  26  devotees, including temple priests  accompany the float procession.  As at Srirangam temple, the festivities last for 21 days and Goda Kalyanam and Rathotsavam (the chariot festival) form  important activities of the annual  celebrations; the latter event coincides with the Makar Sankranti festival. This unique festival draws people in thousands from near-by districts as well.
DA O, Kotha gundam will deploy more than police  to control the crowd personnel