Thousands of devotees worshipped Namperumal at Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy temple on the occasion of ‘Vaikunta Ekadasi’ festival on Monday.

Clad in gem-studded armour, the processional deity of the temple, Namperumal, exited the ‘Paramapada Vasal,’ amidst milling devotees exactly at 4.45 a.m.

The annual event attracted a large number of devotees who congregated at Srirangam to have a darshan of Ranganathaswamy adorned in ‘Muthangi’ (coat of pearls).

Exactly at 3.45 a.m., Namperumal, in the glittering ‘Ratnangi,’ was brought out of the sanctum sanctorum in the ‘Thanga Tholukkiniyaan.’

After customary honours for the Srirangam Jeer and the ‘stalasthars,’ the deity was taken through the RajaMahendran Chutru, Kulasekaran Chutru before reaching the Vraja Nadhi mandapam where ‘Veda parayanam’ was recited.

The rituals at the Vraja Nadhi mandapam was completed at about 4.45 a.m. and the ‘Paramapada Vasal’ was thrown open, allowing the procession to emerge through it. ‘Namperumal’ then reached the Thirumamani Asthana Mandapam, where “Arayar Sevai” was performed.

Heavy security arrangements by the police had been made and restricting the number of devotees for the holy procession avoided the usual over-crowding at the ‘Paramapada Vasal’ premises.

This year, additional dome surveillance camers had been set up at 12 places at the temple for ensuring an effective surveillance. The setting up of jammers was another facility, neutralising the nuisance caused due to conversation over mobile phones.

No sooner the ‘Namperumal’ was taken out from the sanctum sanctorum, a posse of police personnel, formed a ring.

The Chairman of Board of Trustees, P.K. Thiyagarajan, and the Executive Officer, M.K. Balasubramanian supervised the arrangements.