Madurai

Elaborate arrangements in place for Thaipoosam

Devotees waiting on the foothills of Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple in Palani on Monday.

Devotees waiting on the foothills of Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple in Palani on Monday.  

Collector says over two lakh devotees are expected to visit the hill shrine

A meeting was chaired by Collector M. Vijayalakshmi in the presence of Joint Commissioner of Palani Temple V. Jayachandra Banu Reddy at the collectorate here on Monday, regarding the preparatory works to be undertaken for Thaipoosam festival, scheduled from February 2 to 11. Officials from the district administration, health department, electricity board, fire and rescue services, police department, transport and local administration took part in the discussion.

The Collector said that more than two lakh devotees are expected to visit the Dhandayuthapani Swami temple during the festival and most of them will be padayatris. For the convenience of the pilgrims, the district administration has set up 11 permanent kavadi mandapams, 12 staying centres inside Chinnakumarar complex, 48 free toilet and bathroom facilities, 28 purified drinking water points and permanent shades in eight places apart from 48 temporary shades.

To combat unexpected power cuts, permanent backup facilities have been set up at 11 places and four temporary backups. First aid centres have been set up at three places and each will have two doctors and eight medical personnel.

Ticket-vending kiosks have been set up at several places in the east and north prakarams, to enable a speedy and hassle-free darshan to devotees. A total of 300 workers have been involved in seven places to facilitate tonsuring of hair and 23 bathrooms with shower for men and 22 such facilities for women have been ensured.

Padayatris reach Palani via the Natham-Dindigul-Palani Road, Kodai Road-Sempatti-Oddanchatram route, Thoppampatti-Palani, Vedasandur-Oddanchatram-Palani, Udumalpet-Palani and Batlagundu-Sempatti-Oddanchatram routes. The Collector directed officials from the Highways department to ensure reflector barricades along the paver block pathways meant for padayatris. The pathway has been repaired and cleaned for the use of devotees.

Over 50,000 reflecting wrist bands and sticks have been distributed by the police and highway departments. Watch towers have been erected in 12 places and fire services will be stationed in nine places inside the hill shrine. Tube lights have been put up along the roadsides where padayatris walk. Temporary dust bins are being provided all along the pathway.

Officials from the Palani municipality and food safety officers have been directed to inspect the quality of food and prices at roadside eateries and restaurants. The Palani municipality has been asked to serve notice to restaurants that have not specified a price list for the food items.

For the benefit of pilgrims, special trains will be operated in the Tiruchi, Palakkad and Thanjavur routes. A six acre land has been allocated for parking buses and vans for free.

Public toilets in Oddanchatram, Reddiyarchatram and Palani surroundings have been repaired and water facility has been ensured for the usage of pilgrims. Information boards on toilets will also be erected along the routes.

Superintendent of Police R. Sakthivel, Assistant Collector Madhubalan, Palani Sub-Collector S. Uma and other officials participated in the meeting.

The hill shrine of Dhandayuthapani swami remained closed for darshan from 6.30 a.m. to 9.45 a.m. on Monday as the ritual of ‘Ashatabandhana marundhu’ was conducted. The ritual started off with the Kalakarshana Pooja after which deeparadhana and special poojas were performed for the deity. Devotees who thronged the temple had to wait downhill for nearly three hours.

At 10.15 a.m. the shrine was opened for devotees to have a darshan.

HR and CE officials, including Madurai division Joint Commissioner Kumaradurai, Palani DSP Vivekanandan and other officers participated in the ritual.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:57:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/elaborate-arrangements-in-place-for-thaipoosam/article30608707.ece

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