Pydithalli Sirimanu Utsav concluded in Vizianagaram, here are the historic facts
The North Andhra famous Pydithalli Sirimanu Utsav is concluded in peaceful way. This year due to Corona pandemic the festival was conducted in low fervour. Only the traditional events were included in the entire program and no other public attracting programs were undertaken.
The North Andhra famous Pydithalli Sirimanu Utsav is concluded in peaceful way. This year due to Corona pandemic the festival was conducted in low fervour. Only the traditional events were included in the entire program and no other public attracting programs were undertaken. The district administration has restricted the public from entering into the roads where the procession is undertaken. Around 40 checkposts are installed in various routes which lead toward Ammavari temple. People didn't permit to mount the terrace of buildings to watch the procession. Any how the festival was conducted in a traditional way with out much hype. Bantupalli Venkata Rao, the chief priest sat on Sirimanu and blessed the public of Vizianagaram to have healthier and flourished life in future.
The history of Sri Pydithalli Ammavari Temple dates back to 18th century. As per documented history the goddess Pydimamba was the sister of king Vijaya Rama Raju of the Gajapati samsthanam. In 1756 there was a continuous rivalry between the king of Vizianagaram and the king of Bobbili. Pydimanba, the sister of Vijayarama Raju tried to convince her brother to not to go for war , which cause huge life loss and leads to distruction. But Vijayarama raju didn't listen to her and he attacked Bobbili fort with the help of the French army led by General De Bussy, attacked Bobbili which led to the "Bobbili Battle" on 23rd January 1757. During the battle, several Bobbili soldiers were killed and the Bobbili fort was almost demolished. Pydimamba came to know this destruction Pydithalli wanted to sent a message through a soldier named PatiwadaAppala Naidu to her brother . On VijayaDasami she got the sad news that Vijaya Rama Raju was killed by Tandra Papa Rayudu. Hearing the tragic news, she fainted and fell ill. She felt that it was time for her soul to join goddess Durga. She died and on next Tuesday the villagers found an idol of her at the western part of PeddaCheruvu (lake). They constructed a temple at that place and installed her statue near the lake.
Sirimanu means a big tree. SirimanuUtsav is celebrated every year on the first Tuesday after Vijayadasami. It is believed that 15 days before the beginning of SirimanuUtsav, goddess Pydimamba will appear in the dream of temple priest (pujari) and tell him the location of the Sirimanu for that year. The Pujari will go and find out the sirimanu and will cut it and perform puja. Wherever be the location of that sirimanu, the owner must agree to cut it for the festival. After neatly converting it into desired shape, the Sirimanu will be placed over a chariot, which will be brought to Lanters junction around 2 PM in the afternoon. The Pujari will make darshan of Goddess and will sit on the Sirimanu chariot. Between 3 PM to 4 PM, this sirimanu will move 3 times to Vizianagaram fort and temple. Sitting on the top of the fort, the Vizianagaram Rajas will watch the festival. The Rajas will give new clothes to the pujari and puja will be performed. There will be a chariot in the shape of White elephant in front of Srimanu. The entire procession would be held three times between Ammavari Chaduru gudi and Fort, which would be 500 meters of distance.
Many people are not aware of the importance of white elephant moving in front of Sirimanu chariot. It is said that during the festival celebration in the olden days Maharajas used to sit on this white elephant to participate in the Sirimanu Utsav. Now it has become a tradition to move the white elephant in front of Sirimanu. But now a days a bullock cart is being designed like elephant with card boards and make it to walk in the procession
Importance of Anjali Chariot:
According to ancestors, Pydimamba died before she got married. So it has become a tradition to sit five married women on the Anjali chariot which moves in front of Sirimanu. Since there are five married women sitting on this chariot, it is called Anjali chariot. SirimanuPaladhara is another interesting tradition, which comprises of an umbrella made of fishing nets, decorated with flowers and fruits.
Chepala vala: The fishermen community helped to pull out the idol of Pydithalli from pedda cheruvu. So they were given priority to participate in procession of Sirimanu Utsav.
Importance of PalaDhara:
There is a story behind the tradition of Paladhara. When the idol of the Goddess was found in the western side of the lake, Patiwda Appalanaidu arranged professional swimmers of YataVeedhi to take it out. They agreed to do it, but instead of accepting money they put a condition that they would be allowed to participate in the Srimanu Utsav with an umbrella made of fishing nets. PatiwadaAppalanaidu agreed and he got permission of the Rajas to follow this tradition. Since then it became a tradition to use SirimanuPaladhara.
Meanwhile, Botcha Satyanarayana, the minister for urban development and municipal administration has offered Silk vastrums to goddess Pydithalli on behalf of government of Andhrapradesh. On Tuesday he visited the temple along with wife Jhansi and prayed the goddess to bless the people with prosperity and wealth, health. Tammineni Seetharam, speaker of AP assembly also visited the temple and had a darsan. All the MLAs, MP and others have taken Darsan of goddess.
Cultural arts like KarrSamu, Puli Veshalu, Pagati Veshalu were not conducted this year as the government want to conduct this event in low fervor. VIPs like minister, MLAs, collector M.Harijawaharlal and joint collectors have witnessed the procession from DCCB premises and the members of royal families including judicial officers watched the Utsav from fort premises. Sanchaita Gajapathi Raju, the chairperson of MANSAS trust and Urmila Gajapathi, daughter of late Ananda Gajapathi have participated in the celebrations. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, erstwhile chairperson of MANSAS and his family members are stayed away from the festival and he announced that he has taken virtual darsan to Ammavaru.