Over three lakh devotees thronged the Vaigai river bed to get a glimpse of Kallazhagar as He mounted on a golden horse in green silk attire entered the river at 6.12 am on Wednesday near Alwar Puram here as part of the Chithirai festival. Also, people, who estimated to be over two lakh, had kept on visiting the river bed until the deity moved towards Ramarayar ‘Mandapam’ in Madichiyam.
Mounted on a silver horse, Veeraraghava Perumal, the presiding deity of the Veeraraghava Perumal temple on the south Masi Street, welcomed Lord Kallazhagar to Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department ‘Mandapam’ raised on the Vaigai river amid a loud cry from spiritually charged devotees.
Lakhs of devotees moved around HR&CE ‘Mandakapadi’ and paid their obeisance to the Lord when He started to move from one ‘Mandakapadi’ to the other on the north Vaigai service road in the early morning hours of Wednesday.
Even with a 5000-strong force deployed in Madurai to provide security and maintain order as part of the festival, police had a tough time managing the crowd intending to break barricades and rush into HR&CE ‘Mandakapadi’. However, no untoward incident was reported when the Lord entered into the river.
Devotees paid their respect to the Lord by offering ‘aarthi’ and lighting camphor on the banana leafs covering a small silver pot of jaggery and puffed rice.
The whole city was in a festive mood right from Tuesday night, with devotees thronging the Prasanna Venkatachalapathi Temple in Tallakulam and the Vaigai river bed.
The entourage of Lord Kallazhagar reached Tallakulam in his palanquin and mounted on the golden horse on Tuesday midnight at the Prasanna Venkatachalapathi Temple in Tallakulam.
“The crowd would have been much more than we have today had the entry of Lord Kallazhagar into the Vaigai delayed by an hour as it happened in the previous year,” said Ramakrishnan, a devotee. Several devotees tonsured their heads and offered hair in the Vaigai river and in Goripalayam as a token of their sacrifice. Later all of them took bath in the river.