TIRUVANNAMALAI: Bharani Deepam, one of the two major events on the culminating day of Karthigai Deepam festival, was lit inside Sri Arunachaleswarar temple in Tiruvannamalai district at 4.00 am.
Temple priests sang the hymns eulogizing the presiding deities Annamalaiyar and Unnamulaiamman as the Deepam was lit. Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Sevoor S Ramachandran, district collector Sandeep Nanduri, e-governance Special Officer K.S. Kandasamy, Superintendent of Police S Aravind, and temple authorities were present on the occasion.
The festival was conducted amid the pandemic restrictions. Since devotees were prohibited from attending the festival and not allowed inside the temple, the town almost wore a deserted look which would otherwise witness a sea of devotees coming to attend the lighting ceremonies.
Only around 150 members including priests, VIPs and police personnel were present inside the temple during the lighting of the Bharani Deepam.
Check posts set up in the district borders were being manned by police personnel. They were conducting vehicle-checks and sending back vehicles trying to enter into the district to attend the festival.
The Maha Deepam is ready to be lit atop the 2668-feet-tall Annamalaiyar Hills at 6.00pm today, and as part of the pandemic restrictions, devotees are prohibited from climbing the hills.