Lord Kallalagar enters Vaigai river as part of Chithirai festival in Tamil Nadu

During the procession, lord Kallazhagar was adorned in green silk while he was entering the Vaigai river.
Kallalagar on Golden horse Vahana entered Vaigai river in Madurai on Friday. (Photo | EPS/ KK Sundar)
Kallalagar on Golden horse Vahana entered Vaigai river in Madurai on Friday. (Photo | EPS/ KK Sundar)

MADURAI:  As the speakers are blaring 'Vararu Vararu Alagar Vararu' and thousands of devotees who were in the Vaigai river splashing water, lord Kallazhagar on his golden horse Vahana entered into the Vaigai river in Madurai as part of the Chithirai festival celebration on Friday. 

Chithirai festival at the Kallazhagar temple commences from May 01 - 10, in which the procession of Kallalagar to Madurai and entering into the Vaigai river and visiting Thenur Mandapam are the major events of the festivals.

Lord Kallazhagar started to Madurai from Alagar Malai on May 03. After visiting hundreds of Mandagapadi (In total more than 460+ Mandagapadi are there along the procession path), the Kallalagar procession was brought to the Arulmigu Prasanna Venkatachalapathy temple in Tallakulam on Thursday night.  

From where lord Kallazhagar adorned in the traditional green silk and ornaments was mounted to the iconic Golden horse Vahana and started his journey to enter the Vaigai river in the wee hours of Friday. During the procession, lord Kallazhagar was adorned in green silk while he was entering the Vaigai river. The announcer from the HR&CE department stated that the Green colour which the deity is adorned in is believed to bring prosperity to the region.

Considered to be the biggest event of the Chithirai festival, thousands of people thronged through the roads which lead to the Vaigai River. Making the scene look like the golden horse is floating amid a sea of people from the birds-eye view. 

Earlier, lord Veera Ragava Perumal mounted on his Silver horse Vahana arrived at the northern Banks of the Vaigai river, Lord Kallazhagar arrived at the Vaigai northern banks by 5:45 am. On arrival, lord Veera Ragava Perumal received Kallazhagar to the special platform made for Kallazhagar to enter into the river.  Upon arrival into the Vaigai river, the Kallazhagar procession was circling around the platform allowing all the lakhs of people to darshan. 

After special poojas were done at the makeshift Mandagapadi of the HR&CE department within the Vaigai river, Lord Kallazhagar's procession left for Ramarayar Mandapam for the Theerthavari ritual in which thousands of devotees disguised as deities Kallazhagar and Pathinettam Padi Karuppu who would spray scented water at the procession deity using leather bags fitted with hand pumps. Following that the procession went onto Vandiyur.

From Vandiyur the procession was taken to Thenur Mandapam on May 06 for lifting the curse of Sage Manduka and later the procession arrived at Ramarayar Mandapam during the midnight hours for Dashavatar darshan.   

Especially for the event the district administration has made arrangements like setting up several LED screens alongside the procession path allowing the devotees to witness the events. The city corporation has made drinking water and toilet facilities in many places, however, the packed-up crowd at Goripalayam faced hardships. 

Several thousands of police personnel from neighbouring districts were deputed to the event venue to maintain order and manage a large number of crowd. 

Compared to last year, this year people were allowed to enter the Vaigai River, thus stampede situation that happened near the Devar statue roundabout last year was averted. Considering the water flow in the river rescue swimmers from the police and fire department were deputed in the venue with life jackets and life buoys.

Special Vahanas used by Kallazhagar during the procession

* Azhagar Kovil to Tallakulam in Golden Palanquin
* Tallakulam to Vaigai to Vandiyur in Golden Horse Vahana
* Vandiyur to Thenur Mandapam in Sesha Vahana
* Thenur to Ramarayar Mandapam in Karuda Vahana
* Ramarayar Mandapam to Thamukkam in Golden Palanquin
* Sethupathi Mandapam to Ambalakarar Mandapam in Poo Palanquin
* Ambalakarar Mandapam to Azhagar Kovil in Golden Palanquin

Two tons flower used for making garlands for Alagar entering the Vaigai event

Ramachandran, a flower trader from Madurai stated that especially for the Kallalagar procession the flower traders have made a massive garland that weighs nearly 2 tons and some portion of the garlands is decorated with actual coins and some portion with mature paddy crop. 

Unsung heros of Madurai

The unsung heroes of the city, sanitation workers of the city corporation jump straight into action once the procession crosses their area to maintain the city streets clean. As the devotees crowd clears the Goripalayam road, the cleaning workers who are cleaning the roads gather thousands of slippers and wastes which were left behind by the devotees.

1000 gold coin Saparam

For the first time in years, deity Kallalagar during his procession to the Vaigai river was kept in the Thousand Gold Coin Car (Aayiram Pon Saparam) belonging to the Thirumalai Nayakkar era this year. Usually in recent years, the deity will be stood near the ill-maintained Saparam as a tradition for poojas before heading to the Vaigai river but this year the Deity along with the horse vahana was kept inside the Saparam and after traditional pooja Kallalagar in his golden horse left to Vaigai. 
 

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