Lord Ranganathaswamy, the main deity of the Srirangam temple, appeared in “Mohini Alangaram” like a woman on the last day of the Pagal Pathu on Sunday.
According to legend, the Lord appeared in the attire of a woman to divert the attention of Asuras who were in a fierce battle with Devas while churning the Amrutham at the holy ocean.
In the temple, the Lord was decorated like a woman with Raakudi, Jadanagam, Pushpa Thanda, Kunjalam and other items, including a parrot on his right hand. Priests brought the urchavar of Azhagiya Manavalan in Mohini Alangaram to complete the first 10 days of the 20-day festival. Later, the festival marks the beginning of Ekadasi festive beginning with the opening of Paramapada Vasal and the Moolavar Muthangi seva, Namperumal Rathnangi seva.
Free Bus Service
Five buses of the State Transport Corporation-Kumbakonam were flagged off by the Minister for School Education and Sports N R Sivapathi at Amma Mandapam in Tiruchy on Sunday. The buses would ferry passengers in the City for Vaikunta Ekadasi festival free of cost.
According to transport department officials, this was the first of its kind service inaugurated ahead of the festival. Three buses would run in a circular route between Amma Mandapam and Rajagopuram via Thiruvanaikovil and the other two would run in the opposite route. The MLAs from the district have assured to bear the cost of operating the free service.
Around 4,500 policemen were guarding the temple and the island of Srirangam round the clock as part of the beefed up security measures by the police. According to a high ranking police official, additional forces were brought in from neighbouring districts to manage the massive crowd. As planned earlier, people were allowed in only through the designated entry and exit points after being checked with metal detectors, he added.
Many people from the neighbouring states have laid siege to the temple to witness the Paramapada Vasal opening on Monday morning. Speaking to Express, devotees said the presence of police in large numbers was a surprise and the frisking was also intensive.
Meanwhile, a section of devotees had a bad time with the police. Many felt uncomfortable due to the increased police presence. Temple priests who perform pujas to other deities in the temple were restricted for security reasons creating confusion among temple authorities and priests.