Kurnool: With the Ugadi festival beginning on March 15 at Srisailam, thousands of pedestrian pilgrims from Karnataka as well as some parts of Maharashtra are travelling by vehicles and on foot to worship Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy. Every year, lakhs of devotees visit Srisailam temple every year for Ugadi to fulfill their vow. The Forest Department has started giving permission to allow the vehicles with offerings up to 15 km transit point at Peddacheruvu so that the pilgrims could camp, cook food, take rest and resume their journey.

The devotees hope their wishes would be fulfilled with the offerings to Goddess Bhramaramba Devi and Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy. They walk about 800 km in 15 days to reach the famous pilgrim shrine.

Scores of philanthropists move to the place with loads of rice, vegetables, water cans and medicines to distribute them freely among pilgrims. However, the forest officials do not give formal permission to pilgrims and philanthropists to move the provisions into the forest in vehicles.

It is their tradition is to give the offerings to the presiding deities of Srisailam temple. The offerings made by the pilgrims during festivals include saree, mangalasutram, kumkum, flowers, tamarind and others. They also carry Nandi Kavallu, called as Kambi in Kannada, on their shoulders which consist of Nandi images and offer pooja to the idols everyday during their travel to Srisailam.