In the run-up to the final phase of the Chithirai festival in Madurai, the deity Lord Kallazhagar of Alagarkoil near here entered the city on Wednesday, offering darshan to devotees en route. The skies opened up and the city was drenched by unexpected showers as the deity followed by an entourage of devotees wound his way through the arterial roads of the city.
Lord Kallazhagar’s advent into Madurai is a prelude to the Chithirai festival’s climax when the deity enters the Vaigai river.Thousands of people have descended on the city to witness this event, which will unfold near Albert Victor Bridge between 7.31 a.m. and 7.45 a.m. on Thursday.
Lord Kallazhagar, who is the presiding deity of Sundararaja Perumal Temple in Alagarkoil, left his abode at 5.15 p.m. on Tuesday and began the journey towards Madurai, travelling a distance of 20 km in a decorated carrier after a halt at Karuppanasamy Temple, as is the custom.
Stopping at various points, the Alagarkoil entourage reached the city early on Wednesday morning and was greeted by huge crowds. After crossing Sundararajanpatti and Kadachanenthal in the early hours, Lord Kallazhagar halted at Moondru Maavadi, K. Pudur, Mariamman Temple, Reserve Line and Outpost.
At night, people in their thousands gathered at Tallakulam where ‘Thirumanjanam’ was performed. Here, Lord Kallazhagar will be presented with the garland sent from Sri Andal Temple at Srivilliputtur. The deity will have the garland on when he enters the Vaigai.