Fire safety: Vendors cooking inside, yajnas worrying factors in Nagapattinam temples
Following the fire accident in Madurai Meenakshi temple, devotees and activists here in the Nagapattinam district are concerned over the Sri Amirthakadeswarar Temple of Thirukkadaiyur and Sri Selvamut
Following the fire accident in Madurai Meenakshi temple, devotees and activists here in the Nagapattinam district are concerned over the Sri Amirthakadeswarar Temple of Thirukkadaiyur and Sri Selvamuthukkumaraswamy temple of Vaitheeswarankoil, as both house several shops. Every Tuesday, over 50,000 devotees visit Vaitheeswarankoil. Being a Navagraha Temple, it’s famous all across the country.
Speaking to Express, Kollidam R Prabhu, a local activist of Sirkazhi, said: “The functioning of shops in the temple premises is a nightmare for devotees. People are worried, especially after the fire in Madurai temple. Earlier, only bananas, agarbatis and flowers used to be sold in the shops on the temple premises, but now, around 100 shops selling garments, plastic items and silver vessels are being sold here. The worst part is, vendors stay inside the premises with their families and cook. If a shop catches fire, it would result in destruction.
So officials should remove the shops.” Adding to the concerns, the entrance of Vaitheeswarankoil Temple is just eight metres in width, and the shops in the entrance shrink the area. Likewise, the worries of Amirthakadeswarar Temple of Thirukkadaiyur is manivizhaa (60th wedding anniversary) celebrations. Speaking about the issue, N Ramar of Thirukkadaiyur says:
“Couples who enter the 60th year of their marriage would come here for manivizhaa yajnas and other rituals. Therefore, on muhurtham (auspicious) days, over 100 couples would do yagams on the temple premises. As the sides of the temple are not opened, there is a lot of smoke inside the temple. Since it is an important day, couples usually have video cameramen with them,” he said.
The Vaitheeswarankoil and Thirukkadaiyur temples are under the control of Dharumapuram Mutt, and attempts made by Express to contact concerned administrators went in vain. G Thenmozhi, Revenue Divisional Officer, Mayiladuthurai, said, “We are concerned about the issue. I have to discuss with the collector and then we will give a caution notice to the shops.”