Lakhs of devotees throng Girivalam for Chitra Pournami in Tamil Nadu's Tiruvannamalai

Ensuring safety and security of the pilgrims, a team of 5,000 police officers, including two Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs) and five Superintendents of Police (SPs), were deployed for crowd management and surveillance.
Devotees arriving for darshan at Annamalaiyar temple in Girivalam of Tiruvannamalai for Chitra Pournami on Tuesday
Devotees arriving for darshan at Annamalaiyar temple in Girivalam of Tiruvannamalai for Chitra Pournami on Tuesday Photo | S Dinesh, EPS

TIRUVANNAMALAI: A sea of devotees flocked Girivalam in Tiruvannamalai from the early hours of Tuesday on the auspicious occasion of Chitra Pournami. Most of them had to wait for about seven hours to get in for darshan at the Annamalaiyar temple.

The district administration has been expecting around 20 lakh people to visit the seventh century temple for the revered Chitra Pournami Girivalam pilgrimage, commencing on Tuesday and concluding on Wednesday morning as per the temple authorities’ announcement.

For the convenience of devotees, elderly, pregnant women, and those with young children were directed towards the North Ammani Amman Gate Gopuram. Special arrangements were also made for persons with disability, who were transported via battery-operated cars through the West Gopuram, granting them access to darshan through the Vaikuntha Gate. Notably, the customary practice of VVIP entry based on letters of recommendation was suspended this year.

Ensuring safety and security of the pilgrims, a team of 5,000 police officers, including two Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs) and five Superintendents of Police (SPs), were deployed for crowd management and surveillance. Over 225 state-of-the-art surveillance cameras were strategically positioned across the temple precincts and Girivalam path. Additionally, patrol vehicles equipped with modern surveillance systems were actively involved in monitoring the pilgrimage route.

Earlier on Monday, Tiruvannamalai Collector D Bhaskara Pandian had announced 2,500 special buses to the town on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The district administration had set up a temporary bus terminus to avoid congestion and is also operating free minibuses from the terminal to Girivalam.

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