Devotees carry 300 kg ghee atop Velli Malai hills in Madurai to light deepam

Karthigai Deepam is celebrated during the first full moon day in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November). People light diyas in their houses and at temples.
This year, 2400 devotees were allowed a top the Annamalaiyar Hills. (Photo | Dinesh S)
This year, 2400 devotees were allowed a top the Annamalaiyar Hills. (Photo | Dinesh S)

MADURAI: In view of the commencement of Karthigai Deepam, over 20 volunteers lugged 300 kg ghee on foot from the Arulmigu Kallalagar temple to the top of the 1,400 foot high Velli Malai hills in Madurai on Sunday. A Deepam was also lit atop Thiruparangundram hill.  

Karthigai Deepam is celebrated during the first full moon day in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November). People light diyas in their houses and at temples. The most renowned version of the festival is the deepam lit atop a hill in Thiruvannamalai district. Similarly, a deepam will be lit atop a hill in Madurai.

Speaking about this, M Ramasamy, Deputy Commissioner of Arulmigu Kallalagar temple told TNIE, "Ghee and other materials are carried till the top of the Velli Malai hills, which is the tallest of the alagar hill range. This year, over 20 people volunteered to carry 300 kg ghee by foot. By dusk, the temple will light the deepam after the pooja." He added that the ritual has been practised only for the past couple of years.

One of the volunteers, who was part of the trek, stated that the climb lasted two-and-a-half hours. After completing pooja at the Vellimalayam shrine atop the hill, the deepam will be lit.

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