THIRUVANATHAPURAM: Amid heavy police protection and warnings owing to rough weather conditions, Karkadaka vavubali ritual was conducted at various spots in the district on Saturday.
Hundreds of people flocked to Varkala Papanasma beach, Thiruvallam Sree Parasurama temple, Shangunugham beach and various temples in the district.
However, no untoward incidents have been reported. Thanks to the effective coordination between the district administration and police. Unlike previous years, heavy rush was witnessed at Shanghumugham, despite the warnings from district administration to avoid the offering at the beach.
According to a senior police official, the ritual began at Shangumugham around 2.30 am. The people were not allowed to take a dip at the sea as special showers were arranged on the beach. Everything went smoothly. The crowd were also managed well in advance. A total number of 200 policemen were deployed at Shanghumugham alone", the official said.
At Thiruvalam temple, there were nine bali mandapams, one more than the previous year. The ritual began around 3 am and the temple also witnessed huge rush. The new mandapam has accommodated 500-600 person at a time. There were 25 priests, 50 co-priests and 250 helpers to help the devotees. A total of 200 showers were also available at the ghat.
At Varkala Papanasam beach, people were allowed to take bath in specific places while lifeguards keep vigil. The ritual began early morning at the beach. Police personnel were deployed to ensure the safety of devotees and for traffic supervision. Apart from the police, services of the Fire and Rescue Services personnel and rescue divers were made available at the venues. The safety barricades were erected at all the venues to manage the crowd.
The ritual was also conducted smoothly at other spots like Aruvippuram, Neyyattinkara and Karamana even though there was a warning of strong undercurrents. At many regions, ropes were tied to control the crowd to go beyond a certain level on rivers anticipating heavy rains.