NAGAPATTINAM, TIRUCHY: Tiruchy and Nagapattinam are all set for two-week-long Cauvery Pushkaram, which begins on Tuesday. Kanchi Sankaracharyas — Sri Jayendra Saraswathi and Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi — would inaugurate the event at Thulakattam in Mayiladuthurai.
Though it was widely expected that Mettur dam would be opened or at least the discharge would be stepped up for the event, devotees have to make do with just a shower as they did during Aadi Perukku.
With no flow in the Cauvery, the district administrations of Tiruchy and Nagapattinam have sunk borewells and set up showers for the purpose. In Tiruchy, the Corporation has set up showers at Amma Mandabham, Veereswaram Padithurai and Aasthana Namperumal Mandapam. While 20 new showers have been set up at Veereswaram Padithurai, in the other two places, the arrangements put in place for Aadi Perukku have been retained, much to the disappointment of devotees.
S Saraswathi, a resident of Srirangam, said taking a dip in the river was the most important ritual during Pushkaram, but the showers have taken the sheen off the event.Explaining the rituals, Sundar Bhatter of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple and a member of the Pushkaram Organising Committee, said celebrations would comprise worship of ancestors, yoga and poojas. Devotees would then take a dip in the river to cleanse themselves of their sins. Special poojas for rain and farmers would be also performed.
With over 50,000 devotees expected to throng a day for the next two weeks, the Corporation has put in place elaborate arrangements.
A senior Corporation official told Express that 400 staff, including 300 cleaners and 50 supervisors, would be deployed. As the river has become a virtual dustbowl, the Corporation has sunk borewells on the banks for artificial showers.“We have deputed four ‘108’ ambulances for the festival. Two ‘108’ bikes will be placed near the Amma Mandapam and Srirangam Temple,” said R Kannan, district manager, ‘108’ service.
Celebrating a river
Pushkaram, a celebration of major rivers, happens once in 12 years. The rivers include Ganga, Yamuna, Sindhu and Cauvery, and are associated with a zodiac sign each. The festival spots are based on the transit of Jupiter. Libra is the zodiac sign for Cauvery
Sinking of borewells on
With just hours away for the Cauvery Pushkaram, officials in Tiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur were busy overseeing the arrangements. As the Cauvery is bone dry, the work of drilling borewells on the riverbed at the ghat was on at a hectic pace