|Observed by||People of Vizianagaram Devotees comes from various parts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa|
|Observances||Tholellu, Sirimanothsavam, Uyyala Kambala, Pydithalli Theppotsavam on Pedda cheruvu|
|Date||The first Tuesday after Dussehra|
SIRIMANU UTHSAVAM, (Telugu: సిరిమాను పండుగ, సిరి మాను ఉత్సవం) (also referred to as Sirimanothsavam,Siri Manu Fete/Festival, Sirimanu Panduga) is a festival organized to propitiate Goddess Pyddithallamma of Vizianagram Town. Siri means lean and small and manu means stump or stick. The priest of the temple, while taking procession between the fort and temple three times in the evening, hangs from the tip of the long, lean wooden stick (measuring 60 feet), raised high into the sky. The priest possessed by the goddess would himself tell a few days before, where this manu is available; from there only, this has to be procured. Hanging from the upper end of the stick, which is raised high into the sky, is a very risky exercise, but the grace of the Goddess, it is believed, saves the priest from falling. It is organized in the month of September or October (Dasara) of every year. It is a stupendous event attended by two to three lakhs of people from the neighboring towns and villages. The Rajas of Vizianagaram would be overseeing this event. The APSRTC runs about 250 buses from different parts of the state to facilitate transport of devotees to Vizianagram to attend this festival.
It was during 1737, when the king Puspati Peda Vijaya Rama Raju of Vizianagaram was busy in the Battle of Bobbili, second Anand has taken the charge of crown and died in the year 1760. His wife also died along with him in Sati (practice). Then the wife of Peda Vijaya Rama Raju, Rani Chandrayamma has adopted Vijaya Rama Raju who belongs to Vizianagaram dynasty as per history.
If we go through the history of 104 temples constructed by Vizianagar Sanstan some history of those temples can be known by virtue of their location. But there is no specific history about the Sri Pydithalli Ammavaru temple constructed by this sanstan. But as per rumours or by some stories it is seen that Pydithalli Ammavaru is a Grama Devata of Vizianagaram. Some say that this Ammavaru is a sister of Maharanis of Vizianagaram. But there are many evidences that Pydithalli Ammvaru belongs to Vizianagaram dynasty. Even though there are no perfect proofs regarding birth and other details of Pydimamba, as per the peoples saying, after completion of Bobbili battle after Vijayadasimi on the next Tuesday and idol was found in the west side of Pedda Cheruvu of Vizianagaram. It is known Pyidimamaba, the village goddess of Vizianagaram.
It was in 1750 when the French leader Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau was staying with entire battalion near Hyderabad. Many soldiers have died due to some disease (Masuchi). He was running with financial crisis. Peda Vijaya Rama Raju of Vizianagaram helped him to overcome financial crisis and rebuild his battalion. In 1756 Bussy visited Rajahmundry. It is heard that Vijaya Rama Raju has given a warm welcome to Bussy by going in front at Rajahmundry.
At that time Bobbili Maharajas were ruling with full power. There are some differences between Bobbili Maharajas and Vizianagaram Rajas regarding power. Because of those differences and some reasons Battle of Bobbili started in January 23, 1757. During the battle entire Bobbili fort got destroyed and many Bobbili soldiers died in the battle. The wife of Vijaya Rama Raju and Sister Sri. Pydimamba tried to stop the battle by hearing the news and were not succeeded. By that time only Sri Pydimamba sister of Vijayaramaraju was suffering from Masuchi disease. While she was in the puja of Goddess she came to know that Vijayaramaraju is in trouble. She wanted to inform her brother regarding this and tried to convey the message through Vizianagaram soldiers, but every one was in the battle. She started with Patiwada Appalanaidu to convey the message in a horse cart. But, by that time, she got the news that his brother Vijaya Rama Raju died in the hands of TandrapapaRayudu. She felt unconscious. Patiwada Applanaidu sprinkled water over her face and she came to conscious stage and told Appalanaidu that she will not live more. She is going to engross her soul in Goddess. Her statue will be found at the west bank of Pedda Cheruvu (A pond located at the heart of Vizianagaram lies on the west side of Vizianagaram Fort). The fishermen found the idol of Pydimamba and constructed a temple called Vanam Gudi for goddess, at Vizianagaram Railway Station which was the first temple for Pydimamba, the second temple is located at three lanterns junction.
Every year on the first Tuesday passing Vijayadasami Sirimanu Utsav is being celebrated. Sirimanu means a big tree. It is known that before 15 days of Sirimanu Utsav goddess Pydimamba will come in the dream of temple Pujari and tell him where the Sirimanu for this year is located. Pujari will go in search of sirimanu and will cut the sirimanu with performing puja etc. That sirimanu can be located any where. The owner must agree to cut his tree for Utsav. That tree will be shaped neatly into Sirimanu and will be placed over the chariot. This sirimanu will be brought to Three Lanters junction around 2 PM in the afternoon. At around temple Pujari will make darshan of Goddess and will sit on the Sirimanu chariot. This sirimanu will move 3 times to Vizianagaram fort and temple between 3 PM to 4 PM. The Vizianagaram rajahs will sit on the top of the fort and watch the Utsav. Pujari will be given new clothes by Rajas and puja is performed. In front of Srimanu there will be a chariot in the shape of White elephant.
Importance of the White Elephant
Many people do not know about the White Elephant moving in front of Sirimanu chariot. But in the olden days Maharajas used to sit on a white elephant and participate in Sirimanu Utsav. Now as per the present situation white elephant statue is being moved in front of Sirimanu as a part of tradition.
Importance of Anjali Chariot
Sri Pydimamba died before getting married. So five Married women were made sit on the Anjali chariot which is on the front of Sirimanu as a part of tradition. As five married women are sitting on this chariot, this is called Anjali chariot. Secondly along with this sirimanu Paladhara, an umbrella made with fishing nets decorated with flowers and fruits is important.
Importance of Paladhara and Fishermen's net
As per history when Goddess statue will be found in west side of pedda cheruvu, Patiwda Appalanaidu has tried to bring the statue out by calling professional swimmers of Yata Veedhi. They agreed to bring the statue out with out taking money on putting a condition that their people will participate with srimanu utasav with umbrella made of fishing nets. Patiwada Appalanaidu agreed to their condition and made the rajas convinced for allowing them to participate in Sirimanothsavam.