UDUPI: Tragedy struck the grand finale of the Maharathotsava at the famous Kollur Mookambika temple on Tuesday evening. One person died and another suffered serious injuries when the wheel of the Ratha (Brahmaratha) ran over them during the massive rush at the temple entrance. Both devotees were from Kerala.
Police sources said Babu, 45, who died en route to hospital, is a library assistant in Madapalli College, Vadakara, Calicut district. Haridas, 45, who is seriously injured, hails from Mele Chovva of Kannur. The authorities are probing the lapses in security which led to the accident.
The Rathasanchalana and Ratharohana ceremonies were at 9 am after the rituals and special poojas held under the leadership of temple chief priest and Tantri Manjunath Adiga. In the evening, the tantri and other archakas conducted the pooja. The devotees then pulled the florally decorated Ratha till the Olaka Mantapa, a kilometre from the temple and returned. A large crowd of devotees witnessed the event. The Maharatthostsva began on March 2, 2009 and culminated on Tuesday with special offering and poojas to Goddess Mookambika. This is the first such accident during any rathotsava at this temple