TIRUVANNAMALAI : The 10-day annual Karthigai Deepam festival culminated in the lighting of Maha Deepam on the 2,668-feet-high Annamalaiyar Hills here at 6 pm on Sunday, amidst Covid-19 restrictions. Earlier in the day, Bharani Deepam was lit inside the temple at 4 am.
The events took place amid chants of ‘Annamalaiyaruku Arohara’ and hymns eulogising the presiding deities of the temple – Annamalaiyar and Unnamulaiamman – as the Deepams were lit.
Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Sevoor S Ramachandran, Collector Sandeep Nanduri, e-governance Special Officer KS Kandasamy, Superintendent of Police (SP) S Aravind and temple authorities were present.
Despite the major event of the temple town taking place, the town wore a deserted look as visitors were barred from attending the festival or entering inside the temple. The event usually draws a sea of people from across the State.
Only around 150 members, including priests, the minister 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 conducted vehicle-checks and sent back vehicles attempting to enter the district to attend the festival.
BJP stages demonstration at Maada Veedhi in T’malai
Tiruvannamalai: Tension prevailed in Tiruvannamalai town for a while on Sunday when BJP staged demonstration seeking permission for devotees to walk around Arunachaleswarar Temple. Party district president Jeevanandham led the demonstration held on Maada Veedhi, which was barricaded owing to Covid-19 restrictions.
The BJP cadre demanded that devotees be allowed to walk around the temple on the Veedhi. They later withdrew the demonstration after police held talks with them. Karthigai Deepam festival, which usually draws lakhs of devotees, turned out to be a low-key event this time thanks to Covid. The district administration recently issued an order barring devotees and visitors from entering the temple during festival.