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Huge Sivalingam draws crowds

By Our Staff Reporter

NIZAMABAD, APRIL 29. A 411-kg mercury-based Sivalingam, said to be one of the biggest in the country, was consecrated by the Jagadguru Pushpagiri Shankaracharya and Hampi Virupaksha Vidyaranya Peethadhipati at Sri Dattashram in Anksapur village of Velpur mandal, about 40 km from here, on Thursday.

The five-day event, which commenced on April 25, concluded today with the consecration of the Sivalingam, which was made of mercury with a mix of chemicals brought from Kashi in Uttar Pradesh by the Sri Dattashram trustee, Vittal Goud Maharaj.

Costing Rs. 6 lakhs, the Sivalingam was formally consecrated this afternoon by the Pushpagiri Peethadhipati Sri Vidyanrusimha Bharati Swamy and Sri Hampi Virupaksha Vidyaranya Peethadhipati, Sri Vidyaranya Bharati Swamy, amid chanting of Vedic hymns. This is the first attempt by anybody in Andhra Pradesh to install a mercury-based Sivalingam of such weight. One hundred and eight one-kg Sivalingams were also consecrated today.

A large number of people thronged the ashram to have a look at the giant Sivalingam installed inside the pyramid shaped temple on the premises of the ashram. Religious fervour marked the occasion with hundreds of devotees attending it. The ashram was a beehive of activity as hundreds of pilgrims lined up to seek the blessings of religious heads. The former Armoor MLA, Bajireddi Goverdhan, the Armoor DSP, Faridappa and other prominent leaders of the area witnessed the ceremony and sought the blessings of the two religious heads.

The ashram founder, Vittal Goud Maharaj, a retired teacher, speaking to reporters denied the charges levelled by rationalist associations that the mercury-based Sivalingam was ill conceived and was risky to be installed in a temple.

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