Tirupati: The pilgrim city of Tirupati will reverberate with the celebration of the 900 year old Gangamma Jatara festival from May 11 to 17 with weeklong festivities which included fancy dressing as Gods and cultural programs.
Tirupati MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy on Sunday released the festival pamphlets and also flagged off the publicity vehicles at the historical Gangamma temple in Tataiyagunta, here.
Later Interacting with the media, the Tirupati legislator said the state cultural department has made elaborate arrangements for showcasing folk arts and Puranic dramas at the local Indira grounds.
He said as part of the tradition himself and all prominent celebrities of Tirupati will present a saree to Goddess Gangamma on May 11. He appealed to all Tirupati citizens also to present a saree for the well being of the city and health of its people.
All local 50 Corporators , District Ministers P Ramachandra Reddy and Women Minister RK Roja, Deputy Chief Minister Narayana Swamy, will also offer saree to Gangamma.
He said Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) was donating Rs 25 lakhs, Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) Rs 15 lakhs, Tirupati Municipal Corporation (TMC) Rs 15 lakhs for the conduct of festival and donations were raining from all round.
Karunakar Reddy said the Goddess Gangamma was hailed as sister of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy and her temple was built by Anantacharya ,who had designed and built the Srivari temple and hence regions known as Tatayyagunta. Sri Venkateshwara hailed Anantacharya as Tataiyya, say legends.
While the Sammakka and sarakka festivals of Telangana ,Venkatagiri Poleramma jatara and Vizianagaram jatara are all 300 year old but Gangamma festival is 900 year old.
The Gangamma temple was part of TTD along with 26 other local temples managed by Hathiramji Mutt but later alienated from TTD. The festivities at Gangamma are of multi discipline and significant one is that devotees adorn a variety of fancy dress and redeem their vows. In a first the organising committee of the festival, invitations will be sent to nearly 3 lakh residents of Tirupati along with sindhur packets as Gangamma Prasadam in advance.
Tirupati Mayor Dr Shirisha, Deputy Mayors Mudra Narayana,Bhumana Abhinay Reddy, Gangamma temple chairman Katta Gopi Yadav, Executive Officer Muni Krishnaiah were present. (UNI)