The incident occurred when a large number of people were moving forward to take a holy dip in the river, said Kulasekhar, Deputy Superintendent of Police East Godavari district. He said the deceased are senior citizens and police are yet to establish their identity.

'Godavari 'Pushkaram' is the once in 144-year event dedicated to worshipping rivers in the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The pushkaralu, which is observed once in 12 years, this time is considered auspicious from astronomical point of view as it is Maha Pushkaralu which comes once in 144 years.

The 'Pushakaram' is a similar to the 'Kumbh Mela' performed alongside rivers elsewhere in the country and taking holy dip is the main ritual of the festival.

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