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Sanctum sanctorum of Palani temple closed; renovation work begins

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K. Raju

Thiruppani begins with special pujas and homams

Special pujas, homam performed Devotees not allowed to enter temple A section of traders and members of Idol Protection Committee protest

PALANI: Amid protests from a section of traders and members of Navabaashana Idol Protection Committee, the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple, the third of six abodes of Lord Muruga, was closed here on Thursday after special pujas and homams that marked the commencement of 21-day renovation work.

The garbagriham will remain closed till April 2, the day before the Kumbabhishekam.

In the morning, priests performed special pujas and homams to instal the power of the main deity in a holy `kalasam'. Later, the kalasam and utsavamurthy (procession idol) were placed in a small mandap constructed at the inner prakaram.

Temple officials said, six `kaala poojas' and abishekam would be performed to the utsavamurthy only.

To keep the navabaashana (main) idol wet water would be sprinkled on it periodically to avoid crack or damage.

Devotees were not allowed to enter the temple since morning and its main were closed well in advance.

Later, talking to mediapersons, S.V. Balasubramaniam, chairman, Board of Trustees of Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple, claimed that the decision to perform kumbabhishekam was taken long back. The ardhamandapam and garbagriham were very weak and the idol was frail.

Cracks had developed on the walls of these structures. The frail idol was shown to Pulipaani Sithar of Palani. Strengthening the idol would be done in his presence only, he said.

To a question on frequent conduct of kumbabhishekam, he recalled that consecration was performed twice between 1934 and 1940.

A section of traders on Sannadhi Street closed their shops in protest against closure of temple for three weeks. The members of Navabashana Idol Protection Committee thronged the temple to stage a protest.

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