Tension at the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border over the rights of Kanakanatchiamman temple near Palar at Perumpallam in Chittoor district seems to have defused, with villagers from Tamil Nadu deciding to ensure smooth conduct of a festival next month.

On Tuesday, many villagers of Pullur, Avarankuppam and Thimmampet took part in a meeting with representatives of Kangundi panchayat, Kuppam and officials of the Andhra Pradesh government.

Villagers said the meeting was held to discuss the arrangements for the “Aadi Perukku” festival scheduled on August 2.

Popular for Aadi Perukku

The temple is very popular for the festival and nearly 25,000 to 30,000 devotees congregate there on ‘Aadi Perukku’, according to A. C. Dinakaran, panchayat president of Avarankuppam.

“They called us for the meeting and enquired about the arrangements for the festival and the facilities required by the devotees. They assured that we can work this out by staying united and see that the devotees do not face any problem,” he said.

The temple, which is located in AP and is over 100 years old, has been a bone of contention as it was constructed by TN villagers. With the AP government raising the height of the check dam across Palar – that is close to the temple – near Pullur panchayat and taking over toll collection for parking vehicles from devotees, TN villagers have been apprehensive over losing their rights over the temple. “Recently, the AP government provided electricity connection for the temple. ,” a villager said.

Arrangements discussed

At the meeting, representatives from AP discussed the various arrangements to be made in view of ‘Aadi Perukku’.

“Representatives of both sides agreed that all facilities required by devotees should be put in place, and there should be no inconvenience for them. Accordingly, basic requirements such as toilets, drinking water, medical, and a facility for women to change clothes after taking a dip in the water would be set up,” Mr. Dinakaran added. The AP police have also assured to provide required protection for devotees, he said.