On Thursday as a part of Annual ritual ‘Giri Pradakshina’ devotees of Lord Appanna circumambulate simhachalam Hill by covering the distance of 32kms. Stretch of the national highway-16 passing through the city was crammed with full of people. Every year on eve of Ashadha Pournima which falls on the 3rd or 4th week of July, this ritual was done. The ritual started in the morning with a few devotees later on by the day ending they increased, by 7 pm they become like a sea of humanity. Due lunar eclipse falling on the same day, devotees had to complete the Giri Pradakshina by Friday afternoon so they continued into Thursday night. As it was an ancient ritual but it gained popularity in the last decade.
As per the estimates, every year 3 to 4 lakhs of the devotee are participating in Giri Pradakshina but in this year the count of the devotee was very less due to the lunar eclipse has fallen on the same day. police arranged heavy bandobast to regulate the traffic in almost every major junctions such as Hanumanthawaka and NAD Kotha Road which are crammed with full of people, policemen had a tough time by puffing, sweating and panting as it was a sunny day.
Devotees walk round the hill from Jodugullapalem to the Simhachalam foothills via NAD Kotha Road, after the breaking of coconut they walk back for a holy dip to Jodugullapalem via Adivaram and Arilova to the beach.
Som of the devotees had the belief that walking around the Simhachalam Hill on this auspicious day is equivalent to circumambulation of the world, it called as ‘Prapancha Pradikshina’. While some believe that it is equal to ‘Kailash Pradakshina’.
The GVMC officials are worked round the clock during this ritual to clean the mess. Even though district authorities are appealing repeating about the reduce the use age of plastic, Sanitation workers find the heaps of plastic dumped on the road.