Express News Service
MADURAI: Amid the roaring chants of ‘Govinda’ and blaring azhagar songs, Lord Kallazhagar on his golden horse vahanam arrived at Madurai and entered the north banks of the Vaigai River around 5.50 am, as part of the Chithirai festival celebration of the temple, on Saturday. As the event is being hosted after a gap of two years, official sources said the footfall was notably higher than the previous years.
A large number of devotees, especially youngsters were seen taking part in the procession and standing in possible places to witness Kallazhagar entering into Vaigai.Saraswathi, a devotee from Madurai, told TNIE, “I have been visiting the Vaigai banks for worshipping Lord Kallazhagar entering into the river for decades. This year, we came early on Friday evening to the northern banks of Vaigai and waited for over 10 hours to witness Kallazhagar entering the river. Usually, people will be allowed into the river, but this year considering the water flow, people were advised not to enter which led to tussle in available areas close to the river banks.”Kalirasan, another devotee from Chennai, said, “Staying awake all night, vibing for music and taking part in the Kallazhagar procession, we were missing these for the past two years. We came to take part in Chithirai festival.”
The festival began on April 12 and will come to an end on April 21. Lord Kallazhagar started to Madurai from Alagar malai on April 14. After hundreds of Mandagapadi, the procession was brought to the Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Temple in Tallakulam on Friday night and from here, Kallazhagar, adorned in green silk, mounted to the Golden Stallion Vahan, was taken in procession towards the Vaigai River in the wee hours of Saturday.
Ahead of the arrival of Kallazhagar, lord Veera Ragava Perumal mounted on his Silver stallion Vahan arrived at the northern banks of the Vaigai River by 5:20 am. Gliding through the sea of devotees on the roads, Lord Kallazhagar arrived at the Vaigai northern banks around 5:50 am. On arrival, lord Veera Ragava Perumal received Kallazhagar to the special platform made for the latter to enter into the river.
After special poojas, the procession left to Ramarayar Mandapam for the Theerthavari ritual in which thousands of devotees were disguised as deities — Kallazhagar and Pathinettam Padi Karuppu. They sprayed scented water at the procession and after this, the procession went onto Vandiyur. From Vandiyur, the procession will move to Thenur Mandapam on April 17 for lifting the curse of Sage Manduka and later, the procession will be taken to Ramarayar Mandapam at the midnight for Dashavatar darshan. On April 20, Lord Kallazhagar will return to the Alagar hills.