'Vararu Vararu Alagar Vararu' chants echo through streets of Madurai

Devotees chanted 'Govinda Govinda' and showed deepam to offer their prayers to Lord Kallalagar.
As Chithirai festival enters its last leg, a sea of people throng Madurai to partake in Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple procession; Alagar enters Vaigai today
As Chithirai festival enters its last leg, a sea of people throng Madurai to partake in Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple procession; Alagar enters Vaigai today Photo | K K Sundar, EPS

MADURAI: Chants of ‘Vararu Vararu Alagar Vararu’ and ‘Govinda Govinda’ echoed through the streets of Madurai as Lord Kallalagar, adorned in traditional green silk attire, was taken on a procession on his vahana, a golden horse, before entering the Vaigai River early on Tuesday.

Lord Kallalagar’s procession from Alagar Hills to Madurai, part of the Chithirai festival celebrations, is the largest festival in Madurai, attracting lakhs of devotees who congregate to witness the procession and the rituals.

After visiting hundreds of mandagapadis, with more than 460 mandagapadis located along the procession path, Lord Kallalagar was brought in a golden palanquin to the Arulmigu Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Temple in Tallakulam on Monday night.

After performing rituals, the deity was adorned in green silk, representing agricultural prosperity, and taken on the golden horse from the temple to the Vaigai River.

Earlier, Lord Veera Ragava Perumal, mounted on his vahana, a silver horse, was brought to the northern banks of the Vaigai.

Lord Kallalagar was brought to the Vaigai northern banks by 5:45 am. Upon arrival, Lord Veera Ragava Perumal, in a symbolic gesture, received Lord Kallagar on a special platform made for the deity to enter into the river. The procession circled on the platform after entering the Vaigai, allowing lakhs of people to get a darshanam of the deity. Devotees chanted 'Govinda Govinda' and showed deepam to offer their prayers to Lord Kallalagar.

After the pooja, the procession proceeded along the Vaigai Bank road to Ramarayar Mandapam for the Theerthavari ritual, during which thousands of devotees sprayed scented water on the procession deity using 'thopparai', customary bags made of goat leather.

 The procession then proceeded to the Vandiyur Perumal temple. Later in the day, Lord Kallalagar will head to the Thenur Mandabam, to lift the curse of Sage Manduka, and then proceed to the Ramarayar Mandapam during midnight for Dashavatar darshanam.  

Lakhs of people from various places reached Goripalayam to view Kallalagar entering the Vaigai River.
 
Minor hiccups

Owing to the immense crowd, the Vaigai Bank road was fully packed and minor issues were reported, which were addressed by the cops at the venue. The district administration had made arrangements alongside the procession path to allow devotees to witness the event.

The city corporation also set up drinking water facilities and toilet facilities in many places. However, owing to the large crowd, some people at Goripalayam faced some issues. Thousands of police personnel from neighbouring districts were also deputed at the event venue to maintain law and order and manage the crowd.

In contrast to last year, people were allowed to enter the Vaigai River this year, averting a stampede-like situation that occurred near the Devar statue last year. Considering the water flow in the river, swimmers from police and fire departments were deputed, along with life jackets and life buoys.

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