: With ‘Kaapu kattu' (tying the holy thread) ritual, the seven-day ‘Kandar Sashti' festival commenced here on Wednesday.

After special pujas, the temple priest tied the holy thread to the main deity Lord Muthukumaraswamy and goddesses Sri Valli and Sri Deivanai, dwarakapalakas, parivaramurthies, Sri Ganapathy and other deities.

Later, pilgrims with plans to observe celibacy too tied the thread on their hands.

Special pujas and aradhanas were preformed to the main deity.

‘Surasamharam,' the main programme of the festival will take place on October 31.

While ‘Tharakasuravadham' will take place on north giri veedhi, ‘Banugopa vadham' on east Giri veedhi, ‘Singamuka vadham' on west giri veedhi, ‘Surapadman vadham' will be on west giri veedhi.

Victory celebrations will take place at Ariyar mandapam at night on that day.

Celestial wedding will be performed on November 1. Golden chariot procession will take place throughout the day and the festival will conclude with celestial wedding.

The temple administration has arranged cultural programmes on all festival days. Professors of APA College in Palani and Arts college in Thiruvarur will deliver discourses every day.

Meanwhile, the temple administration has opened several sales outlets to sell ‘panchamritham.'

Panchamritham will be sold at main stall on north prakaram and two other stalls on south prakaram on hill temple, one each at winch station and rope car station, opposite to Padha Vinayagar temple, Mangammal mandapam, entrances of main bus stand and information centre inside the bus stand.