Andhra Pradesh is famous for its varied culture and tradition. Andhra Pradesh is enamoured with thousands of religious centres, where weekly, monthly or annual Andhra Pradesh temple festivals are held. Every village and town in Andhra Pradesh has some kind of temple or place of worship where religious festivals are held, accompanied by fairs. Some of the Andhra Pradesh temple festivals are of local importance, while others have a wider significance.
Some of the popular temple festivals of Andhra Pradesh are as follows:
Kotappakonda Temple Fair: The famed ‘Kotappakonda Temple Fair’ is held each year on the eve of Maha Shivratri in February. Thousands of devotees swarm the temple with decorated and lighted prabhas (huge lamps) in their hands as a gift to Lord Shiva.
Sambhulingeswara Kalyanotsavam: It is another temple festival of Andhra Pradesh, celebrated during Mahashivaratri for five days. On the first day, Prabhas are come out in procession. Cash, silver and gold ornaments, coconuts, fruits and flowers are offered to the Lord, along with cows and calves, tying them to the Dhwajasthambha in fulfilment of their vows. It is believed that childless women, who perform Sambhulingeswara Kalyanotsavam for five days, wearing wet clothes, would surely be blessed with children. Fasting and Jagaranam are also observed. A large five-day fair including cattle fair is held near the temple.
Tirupati Festival: There are a number of festivals that are held at Tirpupati in Andhra Pradesh. The most well known festivals are Brahmotsavam, which is the most affected festival of Lord Venkateswara that is held in the month of Asweeja. Every day during the festival, the idol is taken out in bright processions flanked by his companions. The Brahmotsavam continues for 10 days and is one of the most important festivals of the Tirupati temple.
Yellamma Jatara: Yellamma Jatara is renowned on the full moon day in the month of chaitra. Yellamma is friend of Kakatamma, the famed goddess of Kaktiya ruler. Goddess Yellamma (Yellaramma) is worshipped all over Andhra. The garaga parade of this place is very celebrated and a fair is also organised.
Durgamma Festival: This festival is celebrated for four days in the month of Bhadrapada. On the first day, the water for devotion is brought from a nearby river Majira. On the second day, a buffalo proposed for sacrifice and is taken to the river. After worshipping the water-goddess, the buffalo is washed there. It is then decorated and brought to the temple in a procession to the addition of music.
Maridamma Festival and Fair: Maridamma temple is located in Peddapuram taluk in East Godavari district. Maridamma festival is celebrated for thirty-one days from the Amavasya in the month of Jyeshtha to the Amavasya in the month of Ashadha. Thousands gather together with dances like kolatoms and display physical feats and skills with sticks. They also revel in music, dance, drumming, garaga dances, processions and other communal.
Marriage of Bhadrakali and Virabhadra is also a temple festival of Andhra Pradesh which is significant. Nizamabadis one more historical place which is celebrating many regional temple festivals. Bada Rama Mandir, Dalta Mandir, temples of Hanuman, Raghunathaswami, Nilakantheswaraswami and Venkateswara are the places of devotion. In Bada Rama Mandir of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Rama Navami festival is celebrated for ten days and Dalta jayanti is celebrated in Dalta Mandir for nine days in the month of Margasera.
The Nilkantheswara temple is located on a charming hill and is covered by a high wall. The importance of the temple is that the rays of the rising sun fall directly on Shiva lingam. Nilkantheswara celebration is one of the well known Andhra Pradesh temple festivals and is celebrated for two days during Ratha Saptami in the month of Magha and more than thirty thousand followers gather. The Jhanda festival or Venkateswara swami mela is celebrated for fifteen days in the month of Bhadrapada. Bejjanki in the Karimmagar taluk of Karimmagar district is another distinguished Andhra Pradesh temple festivals. Andhra Pradesh temple festivals bring together thousands of devotees from across the globe in these special occasions.