Thousands of devotees from far and near witnessed and pulled the car (Ther) along the four Car Streets in the famous temple town of Srivilliputtur, on Saturday as part of the Aadipooram celebrations, to mark the birth star, Pooram, of the presiding deity Andal (Nachiar). The car festival is the highlight of the 10-day event.
The temple town was in a celebratory mood, and from the wee hours of Saturday, devotees, including women and children, began arriving, and took vantage positions atop many multi-storeyed buildings for a glimpse of the presiding deities Andal and Rengamannar, who were brought to the decorated car by temple priests at 8 a.m.
In the presence of Virudhunagar District Collector V. P. Jayaseelan, Superintendent of Police Srinivasa Perumal, MLAs A. .R R. Srinivasan and E. M. Manraj, Sivakasi Corporation Mayor Sangeetha Inbam, Andal Temple Fit Person (Thakkar) K. Ravichandran, Executive Officer Muthuraja and District Revenue Officer J. Ravikumar among others, the car was pulled from the starting point.
Chanting “Gopala...Govinda...” the devotees joined the procession in large numbers and pulled the car along the four Car Streets.
A large posse of police personnel was present along the car’s route and police said that there were no untoward incidents reported. As part of the bandobust arrangements, the SP said that they had installed CCTV cameras around the car route and had also deployed plainclothes personnel. Due to the car procession, traffic was diverted on select stretches till noon.
The Srivilliputtur municipal authorities had provided adequate drinking water and had made restroom arrangements for the benefit of the visiting devotees. As a precaution, the electricity was switched off by the TANGEDCO authorities.
The temple towers (gopurams) were decorated on the occasion, and priests from the Sri Rangam and from Alagarkoil Sundararaja Perumal temples had brought in ‘prasadams’ which contained garlands and ‘vasthrams’ for the Andal deity.
The T.N. State Transport Corporation had operated special buses to Srivilliputtur from different destinations to enable devotees to arrive here.
Local restaurants were filled with customers and share autorickshaw drivers were busy plying visitors on the occasion. Many volunteers also distributed ‘prasadams’ (sweet pongal) to devotees in small ‘mandahapadis’. Shops selling the famous palgova (milk sweet) was also doing brisk business throughout the day.