Around 60 tourists from different countries are expected to take part in the Chithirai festival this year and have a taste of the celebrations.

The Tourism Department, Travel Club, Dhan Foundation and Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple administration are making special arrangements for the foreign tourists to take part in all the events.

“Every year, we have foreign visitors – mainly from France, the United States, Malaysia and Canada. Generally, we have less number of foreign tourists visiting the city in April and May because of the high temperature,” said an official of the Tourism Department.

However, he indicated that there is a gradual increase in the number of foreign tourists attending the Chithirai festival.

“All those who visit the city in the two months specifically come to witness the festival. This year, we were unable to take any efforts to attract more tourists in view of the election code of conduct that is in force,” the official added.

Nevertheless, various stakeholders had joined hands to make the stay of the foreign tourists memorable, he added. As per the arrangements, the foreign tourists would be told about the significance and historical aspects of the events in advance.

Orientation

“We have planned an orientation session thorough which we will disseminate the prominent aspects of the festival. With the help of historians, we are preparing brochures which will explain the perspective of the events,” said K.P. Bharathi, Tourism Development Officer of Dhan Foundation.

The Tourism Department officials said approved guides would accompany the foreign tourists to major events such as celestial wedding, car festival and Lord Kallazhagar’s entry into Vaigai river to explain the rituals.

The foreign tourists would witness the car festival at North Masi Street-West Masi Street junction, entry of Lord Kallazhagar into Vaigai river from Albert Victor Bridge and celestial wedding from a separate enclosure.

Special arrangements would be made to transport them to the places where the events took place and safeguard them from the crowd, they added.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department officials said special passes would be provided for foreign tourists to witness the celestial wedding.

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