Ananthapuram (Telugu : అనంతపురం) is Situated at a distance of 2 miles to the east of Lakkireddipalli (mandal head quarters) and the nearest railway station is Kadapa at a distance of about 25 miles. One has to take a bus from Kadapa to Chitlur, 25 miles away and from chitlur walk or travel by public/private transport system a distance of 2 miles to reach this village. It appears to have god the name ‘Ananthapuram’ as there existed Ananta Pdmanabha temple in olden days in this place.
The total population of the village is about one thousand and it is made up of following communities: Caste Hindus – Kapus (Reddy), Balija, Yadava, Eediga, Vadde, Chakali (Washermen), Mangali (barber); and scheduled castes – Madiga,Mala. Balijas , Edigas and Vaddes are in majority. The chief means of livelihood of the people are agriculture, agricultural labour and other traditional occupations.
There is a temple of the village diety Gangamma with her image in black stone. There is a rivulet by the side of the temple and there are choultries around it. To the north of the river there is a temple of lord Shiva.
Gangamma Jaatara is celebrated annually. The temple plot was once a jungle. Peramvandlu the residence of Anantapuram, were reported to have cut and heaped of the thorny bush and placed a black stone to keep it in position. The next day they went with bullock cart to bring it from the hedge. But they could not lift the heap. Meanwhile a man possessed of the deity Gangamma revealed her existence and her determination to get established there and wanted a temple to be constructed. A temple, wells and choultries were built.
From that time onwards Gangamma Jaatara is celebrated from Magha bahula Amavasya to Phalguna Sudha Vidhiya (Feb – March) for three days. Wells and Koneru (Pond) are repaired and temporary lavatories constructed a week in advance of the festival. Bonams and coconuts are offered to the deity. Animals and fowls are sacrificed. Devotees observe Jaagaram (keeping away through out the night) on Phalguna sudha Padyami.
Carts are decorated with several designs and Vaahanams made up with coloured papers. The bulls honest to these carts are decorated with bells, big and small and various other ornaments. The carts are taken in procession round the temple with music and fireworks.
Procession image is brought from ‘Kurnootala’, 4 miles to this village. Kapus are patrons. It is celebrated for the past 300 years and widely known. Nearly 3 lakhs Hindus, local and from Anantapur, Chittur and Kadapa districts congregate. Priest is a Yadava of Chellu family. Prasadam is distributed to all.
A fair is held in this connection in a government plot from Magha Bahula Amavasya to Phalguna Sudha Vidiya (Feb – March). Nearly 3 lakhs people congregate. Merachants from surrounding districts (Chittoor, Anantapur and Kadapa ) open numerous shops. Utensils, Glass-ware, books, clothes, mats, pictures of Gods and national leaders, toys, baskets and agricultural implements are brought and sold.
There are chaoultries and hotels. The Shadi trees afford good shelter to the vistors. A dispensary is open to look after the health of the visitors.
Merry-go-rounds, circus, lotteries, gambling, dramas, magic etc.. entertain the piligrims.
How to Reach Ananthapuram :
Nearest Bus Station: Kadapa, Rayachoty
From Kadapa (40 KMs)
Kadapa –> Guvvala Chruvu –> Ramapuram –> Chitlur –> Ananthapuram Village
From Rayachoty :
Rayachoty –> Chitlur cross –> Ananthapuram Village
By Train :
One has to get down at Kadapa/Tirupati Railway station and has to reach by bus/ private transportation.
By Air :
Nearest Airport : Kadapa (45 KMs), Tirupati, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad.