On the occasion of Sri Rama Navami, the annual Sitaramaswami Kalyanotsavam began today, with thousands of devotees flocking Bhadrachalam from all over Andhra Pradesh. Chief Minister K Rosaiah, Minister for Endowments Gade Venkata Reddy, and several other dignitaries, are set to attend the Kalyanotsavam.
To help ease the movement at the Sri Rama Navami festival, the South Central Railway is running special trains between Vijayawada and Bhadrachalam Road, apart from extending Bhadrachalam Road - Dornakal passenger train to Vijayawada.
With Maoist presence on the Andhra-Chattisgarh border in the Bhadrachalam division, large security forces have been deployed in the town to ensure security.
Sri Rama Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Rama to the Ayodhya King Dasaratha and Queen Kausalya, and marks the end of the 9-day Chaitra-Navratri celebrations. Apart from Bhadrachalam in AP, Ayodhya (Rama's birthplace in present-day Uttar Pradesh) and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu) are where significant celebrations take place.
Bhadrachalam is situated in an area which once formed part of the Dandakaranya forest, that visited by Rama, Sita and Lakshmana during their exile. The shrine was built in the 17th centure by the local Tehsildar Kancharla Gopanna, more popular as Bhaktha Ramadasu, a devotee of Lord Rama.