Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi was among thousands of people who offered prayers at the Goddess Veeramaakaaliyaman temple at T R Pattinam near here on the first day of the two-day festival held once in five years.
The idol of presiding deity of the temple, popularly known as the ‘Aayiram Kaaliyamman’, kept in a box was opened early this morning and poojas were conducted as per the tradition.
Legend has it that the idol was worshipped by a king in the north and following a directive by the Goddess in his dream he had placed it in a box and left it in the sea.
The once-in-five years festival was being conducted as per a script found in the box by a devotee of Karaikal.
Puducherry Education Minister R Kamalakannan participated in a procession taken out last night prior to the start of the festival.
Devotees would be allowed to worship the deity till the midnight of tomorrow.
The idol would placed back in the box in the wee hours of Friday, temple officials said.