Tamil Nadu

‘Karthigai deepam’ lit atop Tiruvannamalai hill

No entry: Devotees offering prayers from outside the Arunachaleswarar temple.   | Photo Credit: C_VENKATACHALAPATHY

With no one allowed to climb the hill, devotees had to witness the lighting of the ‘Karthigai deepam’, atop the Tiruvannamalai hill, on Sunday evening from the town.

Exactly at 6 p.m., the five-foot-tall kopparai, filled with ghee and camphor, was lit atop the hill.

Subsequently, devotees and residents in the town lit lamps on the streets and in their houses, illuminating the lanes.

The 10-day Brahmotsavam of Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple began on November 20 with the hoisting of the flag.

On Sunday, the ‘Bharani deepam’ was lit in the temple at 4 a.m. In the evening, processions of Vinayakar, Murugar, Arunachaleswarar, Unnamulaiamman and Chandikeswarar were taken out.

At 6 p.m., the idol of Ardhanareeswarar was brought out amidst the beating of percussion instruments and chants, and the lamp was lit on the temple premises, followed by the lighting on the hill. Fireworks lit the sky and the chant ‘Annaimalaiyanukku Arohara’ reverberated in the temple.

The deepam will be kept alive for 11 days.

Low-key celebrations

Unlike the previous years, the Tiruvannamalai administration imposed restrictions in view of the pandemic. All festivities, including the car festival, were conducted on the temple premises.

The police and the district administration had announced that devotees would not be allowed inside the temple on November 29. Devotees were banned from climbing the hill too.

“Usually lakhs of people throng the streets to catch a glimpse of the deepam, but this time the streets were less crowded. It was disappointing to see the usual grandeur missing,” said K. Perumal, who works in a lodge near the temple.

Around 12 entry points into the temple town were blocked. Those living in Tiruvannamalai alone, carrying identity cards, were allowed to enter.

Policemen warned outsiders not to enter using the public address system and at many points, motorists were seen arguing with police personnel. “We kept telling people that Girivalam, or entry into the temple, is not allowed. But they would not listen,” said a policeman at Vengikkal.

Collector Sandeep Nanduri and Inspector General of Police P. Nagarajan were present at the temple to monitor the arrangements.

“The devotees were asked to leave the temple in a queue and we tried to ensure that there was no commotion,” said a senior police officer.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 5:24:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/karthigai-deepam-lit-atop-tiruvannamalai-hill/article33208137.ece

Next Story