The ancient Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple at Vontimitta in Kadapa district, dating back to the 14th century, glittered on the lines of the Tirumala temple as TTD priests performed the celestial wedding of Sri Kodandarama Swamy and Sri Sita Devi as per 'agama shastra' traditions with grandeur under the aegis of the State government on Wednesday night.
The historic Sri Rama temple, perhaps the only one without an idol of Lord Hanuman in it, was packed with a host of VIPs, including Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Ministers, and nearly two lakh pilgrims. While the government has been performing brahmotsavams with grandeur in the Bhadrachalam temple for decades, the Vontimitta temple gained significance following bifurcation of the State.
The TTD, which has taken over the temple for development, organised the 'kalyanotsavam' with religious fervour. Mr. Naidu, accompanied by his wife Bhuvaneswari, presented silk clothes, 'mutyala talambralu', and gold ornaments to the presiding deities. Mr. Naidu and Mr. Narasimhan warmly hugged each other and watched the celestial wedding.
The Chief Minister and the Governor, and Ministers P. Manikyala Rao, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, and B. Gopalakrishna Reddy, A.P. Legislative Council Deputy Chairman S.V. Satish Kumar Reddy, MLAs, and former MLAs were part of the bridegroom party (Sri Rama's brigade) in the celestial wedding. TTD Chairman Chadalawada Krishnamurthy, Executive Officer D. Sambasiva Rao, Joint EO P. Bhaskar, and others formed the bride's party (Sri Sita Devi).
'Sobha yatra': - Earlier, the processional deities were taken in a grand 'shobha yatra' from the temple and placed in the 'kalyana vedika' amid 'mangala vaidyam', bhajans, and kolatam by devotees. The TTD presented gold ornaments worth Rs. 28 lakh, including a golden headgear and ear flaps, to the deity of Sri Kodandarama Swamy and golden 'mangalsutra' to the deity of Sri Sita Devi. It was followed by 'Edurukolu utsavam' in which the priests of the TTD and the temple changed garlands of the deities.
Vedic scholars Sottu Sambamurthy narrated the events on behalf of the “bridegroom” and Saibaba on behalf of the goddess. Large illuminated cutouts of Sri Rama 'pattabhishekam', Sri Rama and his consort Sita Devi, and brothers Lakshmana, Bharatha, and Shatrughna, and 'Sambhavami yuge yuge' impressed the devotees.
In all, 23 LED television sets were installed to give a clear view of the 'kalyanotsavam' to the devotees seated at a distance. Deputy Director of TTD Horticultural wing Srinivasulu oversaw the decoration of the 'kalyana vedika' with nearly 2.50 tonnes of flowers and fruits by about 50 TTD employees and decorators from Bengaluru. Hyderabad-based singer Gangadhara Sastry, film singer Kausalya, and Pavan troupe rendered devotional songs, Annamacharya, and Thyagaraja keertanas.