Gundala Matha festival gets underway
Vijayawada, Feb 9(INN): Bishop Mallavarapu Prakash early on Wednesday started the three-day 'Gunadala Lourdu Matha Festival' by leading special prayers at the specially constructed grotto on the sprawling grounds of the Grassi High School in Vijayawada. The three-day festivities are part of an annual ritual with an ever increasing number of people from various faiths gathering to offer their hair and seeking miracles. The increasing number of faithful, who make their way to the 'Gunadala Lourdu Matha' festival, is evidence of their faith that a visit will end up in granting their wishes.
Wednesday's special prayers marked the start of the festivities, but the 'healing prayers' are scheduled to begin from Thursday midnight. Head of the Catholic Diocese, Bishop Prakash had already stated that he expect from 10 to 12 lakh visitors this year for the festival. The special prayers today saw Pastors from churches of different denominations participating in the prayers from various parts of the State.
Religion-based cultural programmes where organized for the visitors who sat in the especially erected tents on the sprawling grounds of the Bishop Grassi High School. Keeping the expected high turnout in mind, the authorities have put up barricades so that the visitors move in one direction and order is maintained.
A large number of people with their babies and infants was seen at the special prayers this morning, and more such couples and their children are expected. As part of the rituals, the devotees also break coconuts, tonsure their heads and light candles. The APSRTC and the Railways have already made special arrangements and are operating special buses and trains for the convenience of the devotees. The police have also deployed additional personnel to prevent untoward incidents and maintain law and order.
News Posted: 9 February, 2011