Hyderabad, April 2 (IANS) Subdued celebrations marked Ram Navmi in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday due to coronavirus-fueled lockdown.
With no public congregation allowed and temples remaining shut across both Telugu states, the devouts performed puja and conducted other rituals at home.
No devotees were allowed for Kalyanotsavam or the annual customary celebrations at the Lord Sree Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple in Bhadrachalam in Telangana.
The low-key ceremony saw participation by a couple of state ministers and officials besides a few priests. On behalf of the state government, Endowments Minister P. Indrakaran Reddy, Transport Minister P. Ajay Kumar, government advisor K.V. Ramanachari made the offerings to the temple.
About 40 people, some of them wearing face masks, attended the ceremony conducted by the priests in the temple premises.
Every year thousands of people from both the Telugu states travel to Bhadrachalam to attend the celestial wedding of Lord Rama with his consort Sita. Kalyanotsavam, which is traditionally held at Mithila Stadium, was shifted to the temple this time.
Several devotees had booked the temple tickets online but the authorities cancelled them and returned their money. Ajay Kumar said this was done to prevent gathering of devotees in view of the lockdown.
Authorities in both the states had also appealed to people not to visit any temple on the occasion of Ram Navmi.
Governors and chief ministers of both the states greeted people on Ram Navmi. Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and his Telangana counterpart Tamilisai Soundararajan conveyed their greetings to people.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao Ram Navmi conveyed his greetings to the people. He prayed to God to bestow blessings to people in the state to be happy, healthy, and prosperous with longevity.
While extending his greetings, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy appealed to people to celebrate the festival in their homes in view of the coronavirus threat. He prayed for the wellbeing and prosperity of the people.