Tamil Nadu

Tiruvannamalai Karthigai Deepam to be low-key affair this year

On November 29, the Bharani Deepam will be lit inside the Arunachaleshwarar temple at 4 a.m and the Karthigai Deepam will be lit on top of the hill at 6 p.m.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tiruvannamalai district administration has announced that devotees will not be allowed inside the Tiruvannamalai temple on the day of Karthigai Deepam, falling on November 29, or gather on the streets to witness the lighting of the Deepam.

The Tiruvannamalai Deepam festival is scheduled to be held from November 17 to December 3. The festival usually draws lakhs of devotees from across the country. This year, the festival will start with the flag hoisting on November 20. On November 29, the Bharani Deepam will be lit inside the Arunachaleshwarar temple at 4 a.m and the Karthigai Deepam will be lit on top of the hill at 6 p.m.

“Since prohibitory orders are still in place and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are not allowing anyone inside the temple on November 29. On other days, a total of 5,000 devotees, with e-passes obtained by registering at www.arunachaleswarartemple.tnhrce.in will be allowed inside the temple for darshan,” said Collector K. S. Kandasamy.

As always, devotees will not be allowed to climb the hill for darshan of the deepam. “This time, people will not be allowed to gather on the streets and witness the lighting of the deepam. They can stand outside their respective houses and do so,” added the Collector.

Girivalam on November 29 and 30 is also banned. “No special buses will be operated between November 28 and 30. The annual car festival that is scheduled on November 26 and the other processions, usually conducted on Mada streets, during the festive season, will take place inside the temple premises this year,” said an official.

The annual float festival that traditionally used to be conducted in Ayyankulam in Tiruvannamalai will be held at Brahma Theertham on the temple premises between November 30 and December 2. “All these events will be telecast on social media platforms and television channels,” added the official.

The local administration has also banned Annadanam and cattle or horse santhai this year. “The Shivacharya and other temple staff will be provided with identity cards and only those with valid credentials will be allowed to enter the temple,” the official explained.

Police personnel will be deployed in large numbers to ensure people do not flout norms and gather on the streets. “We will also be using drones,” said S. Aravind, Tiruvannamalai Superintendent of Police.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 3:10:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tiruvannamalai-karthigai-deepam-to-be-low-key-affair-this-year/article33091705.ece

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