PWD officials impose speed limit on temple car procession

The Ani Thirumanjanam car festival of Lord Nataraja temple here will be held on Thursday. For the purpose the structure of the ancient wooden temple car meant for carrying the presiding deity has been stabilised as per the direction of the officials of the Public Works Department.

Metallic strips and iron rods have been put in place as an ad hoc measure to strengthen the structure. However, the PWD officials have advised Podhu Dikshithars to ensure that the temple car is pulled at a very slow speed (not more than 1 km per hour).

Such a speed limit has been imposed to enable the massive vintage temple car to withstand jerks. Last year, there was apprehension over the stability of the car.

Chidambaram Sub-Collector M.Aravind told The Hindu that the Pachaiyappa Trust that had been taking care of the maintenance of the temple cars had given the assurance that before the Arudhra Darshan festivities, that falls in December, the main temple car would be fully renovated. (It might cost over Rs 1 crore).

Mr Aravind also said that another temple car meant for Goddess Sivagamasundari, Lord Nataraja’s consort, had been fully renovated (reportedly at a cost of Rs 70 lakh) and the trial run was successfully conducted last week.

The Sub-Collector also said that the Podhu Dikshitharas had been directed to help the devotees to have a darshan of Lord Nataraja and Goddess Sivagamasundari in the Thousand Pillars Hall at 2 p.m. on Friday.

(After the car procession the deities would be kept in the Thousand Pillars Hall where special pujas would be performed till the next day).

Last year, the darshan was made possible only at 4.45 pm and the delay caused great inconvenience to those coming from far-off places. A medical team would be posted at the temple and an “108” ambulance would be kept ready in the vicinity. Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the temple.

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