Tamil lovers of Pettai in Tirunelveli, who worship Agasthiar alone, offer special prayers at a shrine dedicated to the sage at Swamimalai temple

It was a worship of different kind and form.

A group of Tamil lovers of Pettai in Tirunelveli town, who glorify and worship the Tamil sage Agasthiar alone, offered worshipped at a shrine dedicated to him at Sri Swaminathaswamy temple here on Wednesday. The special prayers marked devotion to Sri Agasthiar and love for Tamil language.

Sri Agasthiar is noted for his yeoman service to Tamil language and literature.

He is considered as the ‘Father of Tamil literature’ and compiled the first Tamil grammar called Agathiyam.

Since Lord Muruga is considered Tamil God, there is an exclusive shrine for Sage Agasthiar at the Swaminathaswamy temple at Swamimalai. The temple town also accounted for 60 stairs, each standing for the 60 Tamil years.

A large number of families of Pettai, indicating their affinity with the language, worship Sage Agasthiar alone for many decades. During the month of Chithirai, they make a pilgrimage to Swamimalai.

More than 600 men and women arrived here on Wednesday. Carrying holy articles for abhishekam and sporting uniform — men in white dhoti and red shirt and women in green sari — they marched in a procession from the banks of the Cauvery to the temple through the four car streets, to the accompaniment of ‘thavil’ and nagaswaram.

After performing pujas, abishekam and aradhana to Sage Agasthiar, they left for Tirunelveli.

Ashok Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, received them on the temple premises.

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