Lakhs of devotees attend Lord Jyotiba annual fair
About four lakh devotees from Maharashtra, neighbouring Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa attended the annual Lord Jyotirling fair on 'Chaitra Purnima' today at Wadi-Ratnagiri in Panhala tehsil of the district, 20 km from here.
On the occasion, a special puja followed by 'Abhishek' of Lord Jyotiba were performed early in the morning.
Later, in the afternoon, a procession of Sasankathi (Bamboo Poles), decorated with colored clothes, was taken out from the Jyotirling temple to the Goddess Yamaidevi and in the evening, after a salute of cannon, a traditional 'Palkhi' (palaquin procession) of Lord Jyotiba's deity was taken out along with a horse and camel to the Yamaidevi temple amidst the chants of 'Jyotibacha Navan Changbhala'and 'Yamaicha Navan Changbhala', with thousands of devotees smearing 'gulal' and distributing 'khobre' (coconut) as prasad.
After a religious ceremony at Yamai temple, the 'Palkhi' will return to Jyotiba temple at around 2000 hours in the night and would complete the annual fair.
Rajaram Mane, district collector, Dr Manojkumar Sharma, district superintendent of police and Ajit Pawar, resident district collector visited the temple and took 'darshan' of Lord Jyotiba.
Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and Kolhapur Municipal Transport (KMT) had made a special arrangement of buses to ferry passengers to the Lord Jyotiba temple.
The Sahajseva Trust had arranged a 'Annachhatra' (Food Camp) at Jyotiba Gaimukh for four days from April 12.
Elaborate police force had been deployed for the peaceful conduct of the annual fair.
(Posted on 15-04-2014)