A large number of devotees pulled the car of Sri Athmanathaswamy temple at Avudayarkovil about 45-km from here on the occasion of ‘Aani Tirumanjanam’ car festival on Wednesdasy.
Amidst religious fervour, the temple car with the idol of the saint-poet Sri Manickavasagar was pulled all through the car streets around the temple.
The festival marks the ninth-day rituals of ‘Aani Tirumanjanam’ currently under way at the temple. This is one of the two festivals when the processional idol of Sri Manickavasagar is taken around the car streets, the other one being ‘Arudhara Darshan’ which falls during the month of ‘Margazhi’ in Tamil almanac.
The idol of Sri Manickavasagar was brought to the car from the temple at about 5.30 a.m. where rituals were performed.
The devotees pulled the car at about 6.30 a.m. It was brought to rest at 11.40 a.m.
The temple, under the jurisdiction of the Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam, is associated with the life of Saint Manickavasagar, who built the temple.
A group of temple staff, possessing the wheel arresters made of log of wood, formed a ring around the wheels of the car, without allowing any devotee to reach the car while being pulled.
A green flag was used from the top of the car, signaling its movement from time to time advising devotees to pull the car.
Sri Subramaniya Thambiran Swamigal from the Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam was among those who offered worship.
The ‘Velli ther’ ritual will be held on June 3 when the processional idol of Sri Manickavasagar will be taken around the temple car streets at about 10.00 p.m.
The important rituals of ‘Upadesa kaatchi’ signifying ‘Aani Tirumanjanam’ will be performed at 5.00 a.m. on Friday.
Special arrangements have been made for the conduct of the ‘Upadesa katchi’ said R. Subramanian, superintendent of the temple.