Lord Kallalagar enters Vaigai river as part of Chithirai festival in Madurai

The procession of lord Kallalagar from Alagar hills to Madurai as part of the Chithirai festival is Madurai's largest festival.
Kallalagar on Golden horse Vahana entered Vaigai river in Madurai on Tuesday.
Kallalagar on Golden horse Vahana entered Vaigai river in Madurai on Tuesday.Express

MADURAI: Amid the resounding chants of 'Govinda Govinda' ny lakhs of devotees and the blaring of speakers with 'Vararu Vararu Alagar Vararu', Lord Kallazhagar, draped in traditional green silk and mounted on his golden horse Vahana, entered the Vaigai river in Madurai during the morning hours of Tuesday.

The procession of lord Kallalagar from Alagar hills to Madurai as part of the Chithirai festival is Madurai's largest festival. Throughout the procession lakhs of people would throng to venues to attend the rituals. Among other important events in the procession, on Tuesday morning the deity's entry into Vaigai river was held in the morning hours.

After visiting hundreds of Mandagapadi (In total more than 460+ Mandagapadi are there along the procession path), lord Kallalagar was brought in the golden Palanquin to the Arulmigu Prasanna Venkatachalapathy temple in Tallakulam by Monday night. After rituals the procession deity was adorn in traditional green silk, which represents prosperity in agriculture among the masses. Mounted on the iconic Golden horse Vahana the processsion statrted in the wee hours wee hours from Tallakulam temple towards Vaigai river.

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. Upon arrival, Lord Veera Ragava Perumal welcomed Kallazhagar onto the special platform prepared for his entry into the Vaigai river. The procession then circled around the platform, allowing the thousands of devotees to have darshan of the deity while chanting 'Govinda Govinda' and offering prayers with deepams to Kallazhagar.

After Pooja, the procession proceeded along the Vaigai banks road to 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 'Thopparai'. Following which the procession proceeded to Vandiyur Perumal temple.

later in the day, Lord Kallalagar would be visiting the Thenur Mandabam for lifting the curse of Sage Manduka and later the procession will arrive at Ramarayar Mandapam during the midnight hours for Dashavatar darshan.

District administration has made arrangements alongside the procession path allowing the devotees to witness the events. The city corporation has provided drinking water and toilet facilities at many places, however the packed up crowd at Goripalayam faced hardships. Several thousands of police personnels from neighbouring districts were deputed in the event venue to maintain order and manage the large number of crowd.

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

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