Agreeing to a long pending demand, the Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday declared the Dasara festival at the Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam atop the Indrakeeladri in Vijayawada, a 'state festival.'
This means the government will bear the entire cost of the festivities at the largest Durga temple in south India where lakhs of devotees from across the country visit during the festival, a Times of India report adds.
The temple has been spending more than Rs. 4 crore every year for making Dasara arrangements like barricading, erecting tents and shamiyanas and arranging queue lines, sanitation, drinking water at the ghats to manage the huge influx of pilgrims.
According to a report in The Hindu, some of these works have to be done by the R&B, irrigation, and municipal corporation, but the temple took up the works as the departments cite a fund crunch.
More than 10 lakh devotees throng to the temple during Dasara every year and an additional three lakh 'Bhavanis' visit immediately after the festivities.
The last day of the festival will coincide with the foundation laying ceremony of the state's proposed capital city, Amaravati. The city will come up on the opposite bank of the river Krishna, from where the temple is situated.