Godavari Maha Pushkaram, a holy river worship - interesting facts, S. India

Telangana Godavari Pushkaralu 2015.www.telanganastateinfo.com

Pushkaram is an important  Hindu  festival associated with worshiping of rivers, 12 holy ones in the country, occurring once in twelve years for each river. The river for each years festival is determined by the position of Jupiter in the Zodiac. According to legend during Pushkar, the river water gets purified by Pushkar God who also travels along with Jupiter.

This time the Maha Pushkarnam was celebrated  for 12 days with devotion and bakthi  all along the banks of Godavari that runs through the newly divided Telugu speaking state - Telengana and Andhra.

The following are the interesting facts of the Godavari Maha Pushkarnam:

 01. The Godavari river is associated with Leo, fifth sign for the fifth sacred river. The festival started off on chaturdasi day -14 the day of the Ashada month when Jupiter (Brhaspati) entered the Zodiac sign.

 02. During the first 12 days the river is supposed to have medicinal properties ,so lots of people flock to the river bank and take a holy dip. Besides, they perform  rituals in memory of their forefathers.

Godavari Pushkaralu 2015. allindiaroundup.com
03. Since  millions people  will congregate the bathinng sites, all along the stretch 1000 km of river in both states, the state governments have to make elaborate arrangements to avoid any untoward incidents and to make the pilgrims feel comfortable during the festive days.  The Telengana  and Andhra governments spent roughly 700 crores and 1300 crores respectively for the convenience of  millions of pilgrims from various places.

 Devotees throng the Pushkar ghat the Godavari river.thehindubusinessline.com

04. More than 40,000 police officers were on duty and CCTV  cameras with infrared night vision facility were installed at all vantage points. Anti-social people and muggers will have a field day on such occasion. AP government deployed drones to monitor the move of a sea of humanity.

05. AP government had 236 Pushkar ghats, whereas Telengana government had put up 106 Pushkar ghats - all for bathing, performing rituals, etc. Both governments ran roughly 4500 buses and the railways roughly 750 train services during the 12 days. The governments  also ran numerous medical camps with adequate facilities for handling emergency cases.

06. According to  AP government, roughly 40 million pilgrims took a dip in the river during the 12 day period and 
at 269 ghats 3.25 lakh people  performed 'Pinda Pradhanam'. 

07. The ritual commenced on July 14, 2015 at 6.26 AM  and closed  at 5.18 PM on 25th July, 2015. On the concluding day,  Vedic Pundits performed Harathi - a ritual of worship with a number of lamps similar to the Ganga Aarti to the river at eight important centers in Basar to Bhadtrachalam  in
Telangana Godavari Pushkaralu 2015.www.telanganastateinfo.com

Telengana state, thus concluding  this holy event that occurs once in 144 years. The next event will be in 2159 (vide Gadavari Mahapushkarnam Official Web site; June 03, 2015.