news Thursday, July 09, 2015 - 05:30
    As Telangana and Andhra Pradesh gear up for Godavari Pushkarams, which is all set to begin on July 14 at 6:26 am, there are a few devotees, mainly NRIs, who will not be able to make it to the ghats of River Godavari.   However, keeping with the current times, many priests are taking the pushkarams online and plan to perform the prayers through Skype.  What about the prasadam? That gets to the person by post.   A few websites namely Godavari Puskarulu, Poojalu and Navagraha pooja are offering "in absentia" facilities, which will either guide devotees in performing some of the rituals or perform the rituals at the ghat on their behalf while they live stream it through Skype.   The process is simple. The Devotee logs on to the website and selects the Puja that he/she wants to perform. In case, you are in doubt, you can also ask a pandit about a suitable ritual with the click of a button.   Once the puja is decided, an online form has to be filled with your details, billing details and shipping address. This is followed by a confirmation e mail and a call to confirm and verify your details and the puja that needs to be performed.   The website also sends you a reminder via e-mail to let you know that the puja will soon be performed at the requested temple. After a quick read through pre-puja details, the video call starts and the Puja is performed.       (Image: Poojalu)   Once completed, the devotees also have an option of filling a feedback form, to express their view on the experience. The prasadam is then shipped to their residences.    According to one of the websites, the cost of various pujas vary from Rs 350 for Vidhistanam to Rs 3,000 for Musivayanam and Pindapradanam.   Godavari Pushkaram is an Indian festival dedicated to worshiping rivers. It is celebrated at ghats along the banks of 12 sacred rivers in the country. Each river is associated with a zodiac sign and so every year the festival is celebrated on the banks of one of the rivers.The last Godavari Pushkaram was held in 2003.     The festival which starts on July 14 this year will be a 12 day affair and over 7 crore people are expected to take a holy dip as part of the pushkar bath in the river.   

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