After the rituals, the deity proceeded towards Vandiyur

Devotees from Madurai and the southern districts gathered in lakhs occupying the Vaigai riverbed and every available space in the vicinity, rooftops, Albert Victor Bridge and nearby buildings to have a bird's eye view of the grand entry of Lord Kallazhagar into the river in the early hours of Sunday.

Mounted on his majestic golden stallion, the Lord with all his entourage entered the river at around 5.45 a.m. with electrifying music blared from speakers.

The devotees had begun congregating at the riverbed in the night itself.

They worshipped the Lord by performing ‘deeparadhana' (lighting lamps or camphor) even as they stood a long way from the deity owing to restricted entry. They chanted ‘Govinda, Govinda' all through the performance of the rituals, conducted on the riverbed.

The Albert Victor Bridge was sealed off by the police with entry restricted to pass holders and VIPs. Every inch of the space at the bridge was occupied as it was among the best place for a good view of the Lord.

The Lord, who hails from Sundararajaperumal Temple at Alagarkoil, was brought to the river, where one feet of water was ensured by the continuous release of water in the recent days by Public Works Department. As per tradition, Lord Veeraraghava Perumal from the South Masi Street Temple received Lord Kallazhagar, who was in his traditional attire.

The Veeraraghava Perumal Temple is a sub-temple of Koodal Azhagar Temple.

A special ‘pandal' was erected on the riverbed to house the deities. After the rituals, the deity proceeded towards Vandiyur.

It was King Thirumalai Nayak, who combined the celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Kallazhagar's entry into the Vaigai, which were performed separately till then.