A large number of devotees witnessed the grand spectacle of lighting of the ‘mahadeepam’ atop the Subramania Swamy Temple at Tirupparankundram near here on Tuesday evening on the occasion of ‘Karthigai Deepam,’ which marks the culmination of the 10-day ‘festival of lamps.’

Bhattars (temple priests) who assembled around the ‘deepam’ around which an altar was erected chanted Vedic mantras. The deepam was lighted at 6.05 p.m.

P. Balasubramanian, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Madurai Range), and M. Vijayaraghavan, Chairman, Board of Trustees for the Temple, were present along with the other trustees V.V.

Manickam Pillai, S. Kaliappan, C. Chinnammal, and S. Alagarsamy, Executive Officer of the temple.

Devotees thronged the temple to witness special abhishekams performed to the presiding deity. Shortly after, the people residing around the temple lighted deepams in their houses.

With Tuesday being ‘pournami’ (Full Moon) day, the entire temple and the town were aglow with lighted lamps, especially small clay lamps or ‘agal vilakku,’ traditional ‘kuthuvilakku,’ small pots made of aluminium foil and wax, and moonshine.

Temple authorities made elaborate arrangements to regulate the crowd with a large number of police personnel deployed in and around the temple premises.

A group of 170 Hindu Munnani cadres, who staged a protest demanding that the ‘deepam’ be it atop the hillock, where a mosque is present, were detained by the police.