Thousands of devotees took part in the car festival of Sri Andal Temple here, one of the 108 Divya Desams for the Vaishnavaites, in connection with Aadi Pooram festival on Thursday.
Minister for Diary Development K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, Virudhunagar Collector A. Sivagnanam, MLAs S. Subramanian (Sattur) and M. Chandra Prabha (Srivilliputtur) were among those who took part in the event that went off peacefully. This event is the highlight of Aadi Pooram festival, marking the birth star of the presiding deity, Sri Andal.
As Thursday was a public holiday in Virudhunagar district, devotees took part in large numbers in the car festival. Amid chanting of “Govinda, Govinda”, men and women started pulling the ropes enthusiastically on East Masi Street after special pujas were conducted to the deities, Sri Andal and Lord Rengamannar.
Two earthmovers helped the devotees by pushing the temple car from behind. Hundreds of volunteers, including students, played a major role in guiding the colourfully decorated car along the car streets, especially while turning it. Huge steel plates were placed on the roads so that the wheels would not get stuck on the tar surface.
Over 1,000 police personnel, led by Virudhunagar Superintendent of Police M. Rajarajan, were deployed on the car streets to regulate crowd, and on other arterial roads and at junctions to regulate vehicular traffic.
Chairman of Trustees of the temple K. Ravichandran, Joint Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department Senthil Velavan, Assistant Commissioner Hariharan and temple Executive Officer S. Ramaraja were also present.
Despite the scorching sun, the devotees managed to bring the car to its station in about 2.30 hours. Several groups of devotees recited Tiruppavai. Some of them also played kolattam ahead of the car.