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Lakhs of devotees to witness Panchalinga Darshana

Special Correspondent

The millennium's first Panchalinga Darshana will commence at 4 a.m. tomorrow



ALL SET: Preparations are on for the millennium's first Panchalinga Darshana at Talakad in Mysore district. — PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

MYSORE: Devotees are preparing for their visit the ancient site of Talakad near T. Narsipura and are lining up for the millennium's first Panchalinga Darshana that will commence at 4 a.m. on Monday.

The preliminary rituals for the run up to the Panchalinga Darshana will commence at 2 a.m. and the authorities are preparing to receive between three lakh to five lakh devotees on the inaugural day.

Talakad, an ancient town on the banks of the Cauvery, has been ruled by the Kadambas, Cholas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas and is about 45 km from Mysore. An archaeologist's delight, this town has some of the earliest known temples including five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Vaidyeswhara, the Pataleshwara, the Maruleshwara, the Mallikarjunaswamy and the Arakeshwara, which constitute the Panchalinga.

The Panchalinga Darshana is a rare occurrence and is held only when the heavenly bodies attain a certain combination reckoned to be auspicious by devotees. The last Panchalinga Darshana was in 1993 and pilgrims who visit the site equate the event with the grandeur of the Kumbha Mela that takes places at Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar.

Deputy Commissioner S. Selvakumar said arrangements were in place and the authorities had geared up to receive up to five lakh pilgrims on Monday and about 10 lakh to 12 lakh over the next five days. Over 1,000 temporary washrooms, change rooms and toilets have been constructed at various points. Barricades have been put up leading to the entrance of the temples and dispensaries have been opened at several places. Drinking water arrangements are in place and temple trustees of the Chamundi Hills, Nanjangud and M.M. Hills have taken the responsibility of feeding the public who will converge here during the event.

The Karntaka State Road Transport Corporation will ply 300 buses from Mysore, Mandya, Bangalore and Chamarajanagar.

The bathing ghats have been spruced up and metal nets have been installed for the safety of pilgrims. More than 1,500 police personnel have been posted at Talakad .

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