New Delhi: While all the temples in India were closed completely for 13 hours, Sri Kalahasti temple was the only temple that remained open on Thursday despite the solar eclipse.

Sri Kalahasti temple is one of the oldest Lord Shiva temple in the country. On the day of the eclipse, the priests at Sri Kalahasti perform the holy Abhishekam (pouring of holy water to the idol) to Srikalahasteeswara Swamy (Lord Shiva). Rahu Kethu pujas were also done for the devotees who came to the temple to get rid of their ‘doshams’(defects).  As per a Hindu belief, a person will be able to get rid of the doshams in their ‘Jataka’ (horoscope) if they worship Lord Siva and Godess Gnana Prasunamba Ammavaru at the temple on the day of the solar eclipse. Mythology claims that the idol of Lord Shiva present at this Sri Kalahasti has all the 27 Nakshatras (stars) and nine Rashis and therefore is believed to control the entire solar system.

Speaking to Zee Media, a temple priest Maruthi Sharma said, “Basically Sri Kalahasti temple is called as Rahu Kethu kshethram. Both Rahu and Kethu were with Swamy (Shiva)and Amaavaru(Parvathi). According to mythology, a five-headed serpent called Kethu adorns the head of Lord Shiva whereas a single headed serpent called Rahu in the form of an ornament finds place as the waist belt (Vaddanam,ornament) of Ammavaru. Hence the ill effects of eclipse not to be felt in this temple.”

There is a belief that eclipses occur when Rahu and Kethu swallow the sun and moon which results in solar or lunar eclipses. However, in Sri Kalahasti temple, both the Rahu and Kethu are worshiped and there will not be any evil effects on the temple, added the temple priest. Thus, people from across the states including Kerala and Tamil Nadu visit the temple on the occasion of solar eclipse.

(With inputs from Zee News)