One of Telangana’s biggest religious fairs, the Mallikarjuna Swamy Inavolu Jatara, began here on Monday in Inavolu village in Wardhannapet mandal.
The jatara will go on till March 21 and its highlight would be the celestial wedding of the presiding deity Mallikarjuna Swamy, an incarnation of Lord Siva, with his consorts Golla Kethamma and Balija Medalamma.
The temple is mainly patronised by the Yadava, Golla, Kuruma and Balija communities and devotees turn up in large numbers from different parts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The temple was believed to have been built by Ayyanna Devudu, a minister from the Kakatiya-era. The devotees use bandari (turmeric) as the main offering to the deity. They also carry earthen pots with newly-harvested rice cooked with milk and jaggery. Some even make animal sacrifices. The tiny village comes to life with thousands of devotees raising temporary tents all around the temple for a day or two before offering their prayers. The temple and its surroundings were lit up for the occasion.
The district adminis-tration had prepared developmental plans worth Rs.13 crore in view of the jatara. So far, Rs.1.11 crore was sanctioned by the Panchayat Raj Department for laying a black-topped road and cement road around the temple site, while KUDA completed a pavement in front of the temple.
The Endowments Department has constructed 20 bathrooms and 30 toilets for the devotees, besides digging two bore wells. A total of 10 mini water tankers were pressed into service to ensure drinking water requirements.
The `Pothurajus’ and women carrying `Bonams’ decorated mud pots with prasadam stand as an attraction at the temple. The special feature of the jatara is that people come and raise a temporary settlement in and around the temple.
Inavolu Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple situated at Inavolu village of Vardhannapet mandal in the district is one of the ancient Lord Shiva temples in south India. The temple dates back to 11th century and was built by Kakatiya rulers. It was built with 108 pillars and has a giant magnificent Nruthaya Mandapam on eastern side.
The presiding deity Shivalingam of the temple referred to as ‘Ardhapranavattam’ (Shivalinga with half doom). The temple has four entrance gates with rich architectural carvings that epitomising the cultural sophistication of Kakatiya dynasty.
The temple was built by a minister Ayyanna Deva of Kakatiya Kingdom – hence the name Inavolu. The presiding deity Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy is considered as one of the incarnations of Lord Siva. Mostly the Yadavas patronise the temples built for the deity.