An estimated 10 lakh devotees flock to the temple town of Tiruvanamalai for this annual festival. The usual practice is for various organisations and philanthropists to organise annadhanam (free food) for devotees.
The district administration had banned the practice of annadhanam a week ago.
Local residents like Ramaswamy wondered how the district administration could interfere in a practice
that has been followed for countless years. However, district officials said the reason for the order was that food thrown on the girivalam path by devotees wastefully would also be trodden on, by them. It was to stop this practice that Collector Kandasamy banned annadhanam.”
The Collector’s new order has riders to ensure environment cleanliness.
In addition to ordering stoppage of liquor sales in the town’s four main hotels and the ex-servicemen’s canteen at Vengikkal on the outskirts of the town, the new order reveals that permission has to be sought for annadhanam from the AD (panchayats) office between November 17 and 25, while applications have to be accompanied by 5 passport photos of the applicant in addition to proof of residence. Use of plastic is also banned.