Chennai

Athi Varadar idol switched to standing position for the next 16 days

The idol of Athi Varadar turned to standing position in Kancheepuram.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department has received around ₹10 lakh as donations for anna dhanam to devotees at the Athi Varadar festival in Kancheepuram so far.

On Thursday, the idol of Athi Varadar was turned from sayana kolam (lying down position) to nindra kolam (standing position) at the Sri Devarajaswamy Temple where the festival has been on since July 1. The idol of Athi Varadar was brought out from the Ananthasaras tank after 40 years and has been kept for darshan till August 17.

Addressing reporters after visiting a centre on Chetty Street, where food was being provided to devotees, HR&CE Commissioner K. Phanindra Reddy on Thursday, said that the department started accepting donations online for the past 4 -5 days for the purpose.

HR&CE Commissioner K. Phanindra Reddy and Collector P. Ponniah inaugurating the 'anna dhanam ' on Thursday.

HR&CE Commissioner K. Phanindra Reddy and Collector P. Ponniah inaugurating the 'anna dhanam ' on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: B_VELANKANNI RAJ

 

He said that 46 organisations have been chosen to distribute food and over one lakh persons were being provided food daily. The centre at Chetty Street was being managed by the Sri Sankara Mutt, where the department supplies the materials. “The Chief Minister has directed that no devotee should remain hungry and has given ₹1 lakh from his personal funds. Food is being provided through the day,” he said.

Kancheepuram Collector P. Ponniah, who too visited the centre, said that so far over 42 lakh devotees had visited the Sri Devarajaswamy Temple for the Athi Varadar Vaibhavam. “Since we expect more devotees to visit the temple for the nindra kolam of Sri Varadar, we have deployed additional policemen. In front of the Vasantha Mandapam where the idol has been kept for darshan, a separate queue has been allowed for the wheelchair-bound so that other senior citizens need not wait until then,” he said.

On an average, the temple witnesses 2.25 lakh visitors daily and when numbers go up, the darshan timings at night are extended till 2 a.m. On Thiruvonam, the birth star of Lord Vishnu, devotees had darshan till 2 a.m.

Meanwhile, a section of devotees were shocked when police personnel intercepted a few motorists who attempted to pass through a barricade on West Raja Street near the temple on Wednesday and found knives in their possession. During routine check-up, the police found four persons on two-wheelers carrying three long knives. A senior official of the Kancheepuram district police said the four were taken to the Vishnu Kanchi police station and were being questioned about the purpose of their visit.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 1:01:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/athi-varadar-idol-switched-to-standing-position-for-the-next-16-days/article28789021.ece

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