After Tamil Sangamam, Kashi To Host Telugu Meet | Varanasi News – Times of India


VARANASI: The millennia-old city Kashi, which is currently hosting Kashi Tamil Sangamam to strengthen the bond between people of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, will see a mega congregation of pilgrims from Telugu-speaking region of the country in April when lakhs are likely to descend in the city to celebrate Ganga Pushkaralu, also known as Pushkaram, a festival to worship rivers and ancestors.
A priest for the Telugu region in Kashi, Tulasi Manoj Joshi, told TOI, “The 12-day Pushkaralu fest of Telugu people is going to be held along the holy Ganga this year after a gap of 12 years. It will commence from April 23, 2023. Major religious centres along the Ganga, especially Kashi and Haridwar, witness a turnout of lakhs of Telugu people from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.”

Tamil Sangamam

Regarding the proposed Pushkaralu fest, divisional commissioner Kaushal Raj Sharma said, “While finalising preparations for the on-going Kashi Tamil Sangamam, we were alerted about the forthcoming major religious event of Telugu people. We will start estimating the crowd by going through past records and recent Pushkaralu celebrations that took place along other rivers in the past few years to finalise our plans for crowd regulation and many other necessary arrangements accordingly.”
“The Pushkaralu fest will also be organised as per the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ programme, which aims to enhance interaction and promote mutual understanding between people of different regions,” he added.
If the managing trustee of Ram Tarak Andhra Ashram, VV Sunder Shastri is to be believed, the city had faced chaos when the last Ganga Pushkaralu had taken place in 2011 and no prior arrangement was made to manage the crowd. “When a massive crowd of pilgrims started reaching from AP and Telangana region in 2011, besides other arrangements the traffic had gone out of gear as the then local authorities did not did any prior planning or arrangements for the occasion,” he added.
Regarding Pushkaralu fest, Joshi said, “As per legends, after severe penance a devotee Pushkara was blessed by Lord Shiv with the ability to live in water and purify holy rivers. On the request of Guru Brahaspati (Jupiter) in view of his abilities, Pushkara decided to enter 12 sacred rivers – Ganga, Narmada, Saraswati, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Bhima, Tapti, Tungbhadra, Sindhu and Pranhita. Each river has its zodiac sign. The river for each year’s festival is decided as per Brhaspati’s travel from one zodiac sign to another.”
“Pushkaralu is celebrated for reverence of ancestors,” said Shastri, mentioning that “after taking a dip in the holy river, pilgrims perform many other rituals, including those performed for the ancestors. Spiritual discourses, devotional music and cultural programmes are also organised as its part.”





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