More than five lakh devotees had darshan on the last day that spilled over to the wee hours of Saturday, as the 48-day once in a 40-year spectacle of Lord Athi Varadar festival at the Lord Varadharaja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram came to an end.
Official sources said more than five lakh devotees, braving steady drizzle, had darshan of the Fig wood idol on the last day since yesterday morning, that continued till 0200 hrs this morning.
With the next festival is slated only for 2059, the temple town saw unprecedented crowd on the last day.
The temple gates were closed at 2100 hrs last night and all those who were in queue inside the temple were allowed darshan.
The farewell Aarthi for Athi Varadar was performed around 0200 hrs after which darshan was closed.
Today being the last day, no darshan was allowed as the temple priest would perform special pujas and yagnas afer which the idol would be kept in a silver casket and lowered into the Ananthasaras Tank in the temple at around 2100 hrs tonight.
The entire process would take around two hours and end at 2300 hrs.
More than one crore people have had darshan of Athi Varadar in the last 47 days, with the crowd crossing more than two to three lakh in the last few days.
People from every nook and corner of the country, even from abroad, have had darshan so far, with weekends drawing huge crowds, with the devotees waiting in the queue for more than 10 to 12 hours to have darshan.
District Collector R Ponniah said a total of one crore 7,500 devotees had darshan of the idol.
While thanking the police and other departments for the smooth conduct of the festival, he said on a daily basis 25 tonnes of garbages were collected and they would be recycled.