Thiruvannamalai Karthigai Deepam tomorrow: Devotees not allowed due to Covid-19

Chennai: During the early hours of today, the ‘kopparai’ of Karthigai Maha Deepam of Lord Sri Arunachaleswarar temple in Thiruvannamalai was taken atop the holy hill after performing poojas.

The Deepam will be lit at 6 pm tomorrow. However, devotees will not be allowed to take part in the event due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Last week, the Karthigai Deepam festival began in Thiruvannamalai with the flag hoisting.

Sevoor S Ramachandran, Minister, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department, Sandeep Nanduri, Thiruvannamalai District Collector, K S Kandasamy, Special Officer for Grievance Redressal, Tamilnadu E-governance and S Aravind, Superintendent of Police (SP) took part.

According to R Gnanasekhar, Temple Joint Commissioner, HR&CE, “Every year it is held as a grand event and lakhs of people take part in the event, but this time the event will be low-scale due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All the festivities will be conducted inside the temple premises.”

On Sunday, the Bharani Deepam will be lit at 4 am and the Karthigai Deepam will be lit on top of the hill at 6 pm.

Recently, the Madras High Court refused to interfere with any of the restrictions imposed by the Thiruvannamalai district administration with respect to conduct of the Arunachaleswarar Temple’s Karthigai Deepam festival.

Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha took judicial notice of numerous lives that had been lost due to Covid-19 and also the fact that lakhs of devotees congregate in the temple every year to witness various rituals associated with the annual festival. They felt that it would be very difficult to follow the Covid-19 standard operating procedures.

 

NT Bureau