Staff Reporter

"Teertha vaari'' ceremony draws huge crowd every year

KULITHALAI: Devotees and public in Kulithalai and Musiri region have called upon the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments authorities to conduct within the stipulated time schedule "Teertha vaari'' ritual of the `Thai Poosam' festival at Kadambavaneswarar temple, Kulithalai. The festival falls on February 1. Deities from several smaller shrines on either side of the Cauvery falling in Tiruchi and Karur districts congregate at Kulithalai for the festival, drawing a huge crowd of more than a lakh people during the peak day.

They come as far as from Vellur in Tiruchi district, a good 12 km from here, and Ayyarmalai, 10 km from here.

In the recent years, due to the non-availability of adequate manpower and general callousness, deities could not be brought in tandem to the main "Teertha vaari'' pandal erected on the banks of the Cauvery near the Kadambar Koil. They would be taken to the river as and when they come and promptly would be taken back, making the festival loose its sheen.

Another reason for the delay is the attitude of wayside residents who make the processional deity halt in front of their houses, for "aarathi'' and other offering.

Against norms

"While scriptures have clearly laid down norms for the conduct of the festival, in the recent years it is being conducted at nights due to the late arrival of deities. Thousands of devotees and officials are put to hardship. The district administration, in consultation with the HR& CE officials at Srirangam, should provide relief from the inordinate delay,'' says social worker R.C. Mamundia Pillai.

The people also demand that adequate sanitary facilities be provided for the devotees. Besides, officials should also try to prevent contractors, who acquire rights to collect toll from vendors through a lease, from fleecing the traders. They in turn simply pass the buck on to the public by inflating the prices of the goods.