Till last year, the Ram temple at Bhadrachalam was the official host of the Ramnavami celebrations. However, with Bhadrachalam town becoming part of Telangana after bifurcation, the residuary state was forced to scout for a new temple. AP government has now declared that the 11th century Sri Kodandarama Swamy Temple at Vontimitta in Kadapa district will host the official Ramnavami celebrations of Andhra Pradesh from this year onwards.
“The temple at Vontimitta has been chosen as the official venue as there is evidence that it came up in the 11th century,“the government said.During the Ramnavami festival on March 28, AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu will present the silk vastram and `mutyala thalambralu’ (sacred rice) to the deities at the temple. Apart from the temple at Vontimitta, the Ramatheertham in Vizianagaram district was also competing to become the official venue for the Ramnavami festival, but the state finally opted for the one in Kadapa.
Interestingly, on Friday, when the AP government named Vontimitta as the official host, some residents of Valmikipuram in Chittoor district met the CM in Tirumala and demanded that the Ram temple in their village be accorded the official status. Meanwhile, following the announcement, endowments principal secretary JSV Prasad visited the Vontimitta temple to monitor the arrangements for the Ramnavami festival. He announced Rs 3 crore for the renovation and development of the temple and to turn the surrounding areas into a tourism hub. The Vontimitta temple is currently under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the AP government wants to take over the temple’s custody so that it can carry out developmental activities in its vicinity.
Read the following Andhra Jyothy report on the same.