MADURAI: Thousands of devotees witnessed Lord Kallalagar’s grand entry into the Vaigai on Sunday.
Devotees thronged the banks of the river and the Albert Victor Bridge to view Lord Kallalagar, attired in green silk, as he was brought to the river.
People waited for hours together; some even came in the night in order to reserve a place to get a good view. Lord Kallalagar was brought to the temporary pandals near the river at 5.45 am, on a golden horse amid chanting of hymns, decorated with silk and flowers. Lord Veeraragava Perumal of Vandiyur welcomed Kallalagar. Earlier, water was released from the dam. Hundreds of devotees tonsured their heads and several took a dip in the holy water. Special passes were issued to cars with VIPs to be allowed on the AV Bridge. Traffic along arterial routes of the city was stranded for hours. Free butter milk, drinking water and food were served at several places for the devotees, in and around Madurai city.
Hundreds of devotees, between the age of five and 60, dressed up as Lord Kallalagar to mark the event. Many carried bags made up of goat’s skin and fitted with a water spraying pump.
They did not let Alagar move for at least for 15 minutes, incessantly spraying water on the deity. They also played music and danced during and after the event.
Parandhaman (25) of Thiruppalai said he had been dressing up like Kallalagar and taking part in the function for the last 15 years. Parandhaman’s grandfather also took part for around 40 years.
He had spent a total of Rs 4,000 for the clothes, which can be used for three to four years, he said.