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Shakambari festival 2024 at Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Temple

The annual Shakambari Festival held at the world famous Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Temple in Ashada month will begin on July 19, 2024. During the three-day annual festival, Goddess Durga takes the form of Mother Shakambari - she is adorned with green leaves and vegetables. In 2024, the Shakambari festival is from July 19 to July 21.

It is observed from Ashada Shukla Paksha Trayodashi to Purnima.

Ashadam, the fourth month in the Telugu calendar, is considered to worship Goddess Kanaka Durga. Devotees, mainly women in large numbers, visit the temple and offer ‘Ashada Saree’ which includes ‘bonam’ (pot filled with cooked rice), silk saree, bangles and other decorations and ornaments.

The month of Ashadam is dedicated to worship of Mother Goddess Shakti. Parents invite their daughters to their parental homes and bless them with peace and prosperity and present them with new clothes and bangles. Goddess Kanaka Durga is offered bonam and silk robes as per this tradition.

Goddess Shakambari Devi is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti and is worshipped in many parts of India. It is believed that she feeds those who are hungry with vegetarian food. She is Mother Earth who suffices hunger. Shakambari Ma is known as ‘the bearer of the greens’ – Shaka means vegetables and Ambari means who bears. Goddess Shakambari is mentioned in the Devi Mahatmya.

The annual festival in Ashada month is celebrated to propitiate the Goddess for abundant rains, good harvest and for the plentiful yield of vegetables.

Rituals like ‘Chandi Homam’ and ‘Veda Pathanam’ (Recitation of vedas) are observed during the three-day festival.

It is estimated that more than nearly 200,000 people will visit the Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Temple during the Shakambari festival.

Origin of Goddess Shakambari
In the Devi Mahatmya, it is said that Goddess Durga appeared as Shakambari after a dry period of hundred years. She brought forth from her body fruits, flowers, vegetables and herbs to suffice the hunger of the people.