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Bara Shaheed Dargah all set for ‘rottela panduga’

The stage is set for the conduct of the State festival, ‘Rottela panduga’, amid tight security from Friday.

The ‘Rotiyaan-ki-Eid’ at the Bara Shaheed Dargah, a mausoleum of 12 tombs of martyred warriors, is expected to draw more than seven lakh pilgrims from all religions and across the country and abroad during Muharram, as Urs of the martyrs will be performed with religious fervour.

‘Gandhamahotsavam’

As per tradition, the Kadapa dargha head, Arifullah Mallick, will perform ‘gandhamahotsavam’ on the midnight of Saturday when many pilgrims are expected to throng the place.

As many as 1.800 police personnel from across the south coastal range had been drafted for duty, said Prakasam SP B. Satya Yesubabu, who is overseeing the arrangements for the festival that stands as a symbol of communal amity.

Drones and CC TVs were arranged and linked to the command control centre equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) to ensure smooth conduct of the festival.

The Swarnala Cheruvu, where pilgrims exchange ‘rotis’ before praying at the dargah, was filled with water from the Somasila reservoir, which received copious inflows from the Telugu Ganga project this year, said the drgah committee chairman, Hyath Basha, while supervising the arrangements even as a large number of pilgrims started arriving on Thursday itself.

Pawan likely to visit

Actor and JSP president Pawan Kalyan is expected to visit the dargah on one of the five days of the festival, according to sources.

Pilgrims offer ‘rotis’ to the martyrs, who had sacrificed their lives fighting against the British forces, either in fulfilment of their wishes or seeking their fulfilment.

A separate enclosure has been arranged for each category of pilgrims.

As a thanksgiving, a person who had come with a wish the previous year exchanges ‘roti’ with another who is on a maiden visit with a wish, and the chain continues in geometric proportion as more people turn up with fresh wishes year after year.

Security was beefed up at Mopadu Dargah and other places of worship across the district as pilgrims visit them too during the festival, the SP said.

Vendors have lined up on both sides of the road leading to the dargah selling a variety of products, which include blankets and utensils.

Roadside eateries have also come up to cater to the milling crowds.

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