Staff Reporter

PUDUKOTTAI: A large number of devotees pulled the car of the Sri Athmanathaswamy temple at Avudaiyarkovil about 45 km from here, on the occasion of ‘Arudhra Darshan’ festival on Wednesday.

Amidst religious fervour, the temple car with the idol of the saint-poet Sri Manickavasagar was pulled all through the car streets around the temple.

The festival forms the ninth-day celebrations of the 11-day rituals under way at the temple. This is one of the two festivals when the processional deity of Sri Manickavasagar is taken around the car streets, the other one being the ‘Aani Tirumanjanam’.

The festivals have a striking similarity between this temple and that of Lord Nataraja in Chidambaram. It is only during the course of these festivals that the presiding deity Lord Nataraja is taken out through the car streets in Chidambaram. At Avudaiyarkovil, it is the idol of Sri Manickavasagar which is taken out during the processions.

The temple is under the jurisdiction of the Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam.