Godavari Pushkaralu is a hindu festival of the river Godavari which normally occurs once in every 12 years . Godavari pushkaralu is celebrated for a period of 12 days from the time of entry of Jupiter into Leo zodiac sign , the planet remains in that sign for 12 months, but the first 12 days are considered most sacred, though it is observed throughout the year.
Pushkaralu celebrations include reverence of ancestors, spiritual discourses, devotional music and cultural programmes. The first 12 days of the Godavari Pushkaram is known as “Aadhi Pushkaram” and the last 12 days is titled “Anthya Pushkaram.
Each river is associated with a zodiac sign, and the river for each year’s festival is based on which zodiac sign the planet Jupiter (Brhaspati ) is in at that time. During the year 2015 Jupiter enters Leo on 14th July 2015 at 6.26 AM when the Maha Pushkaram begins, and ends after 12 days on 25th July 2015.
In the year 2015 Godavari Pushkaralu starts on July 14th . The best Places to visit Godavari Pushkaralu in Telangana state are Dharmapuri, Karimnagar, Kaleshwaram, Basar and Bhadrachalam.The Temple Town of Bhadrachalam is expected to witness a congregation of over a crore devotees during the 12-day event.
In Andhra Pradesh the best places to visit godavari pushkaralu are Narasapuram, Kovvur and Rajahmundry .
Theoretically, Pushkaralu festival lasts as long as Jupiter remains in the corresponding zodiac sign (generally, for one year). However, it draws major crowds only during the first 12 days. The first twelve days are known as Adi Pushkaram, and the last twelve days are called Anthya Pushkaram. It is believed that during the above period of twenty-four days, “Pushkar” the person, who is imbued with the power to make any river holy, will travel with Jupiter as Jupiter moves from one Zodiac house to another.
Maha Pushkaram :
But in the year 2015 pushkaralu is celebrated as “ Maha Pushkaram” as such event occurs once in 144 years.
This year it is called Maha Pushkaram as it is the 12th time the 12 year Pushkaram cycle is being held starting with Ashadha (June/July) month on Chaturdashi day (thithi) (14th day). The next Maha Pushkaram will be held in 2159.
Godavari pushkaralu is spelled as pushkaram in Tamil, Pushkara in Kannada, Pushkar in Hindi.