Karur devotees undertake bullock cart pilgrimage to Srirangam temple
They started their pilgrimage on Thursday and reached Srirangam by Friday afternoon. All the carts appeared same in size and covered with tarpaulin. Each cart carried one family.
TIRUCHY: In an unusual scene, a long beeline of around 100 bullock carts carrying thousands of devotees mostly from Karur district rolled through the Ammamandpam Road towards Srirangam on Friday. The group was heading to worship Lord Ranganathaswami, their family deity.
A particular sect of people from Alagapuri, Mauliparaipatti, Kamanampatti and Alathur villages in Thogamalai region of Karur district come on a pilgrimage by bullock carts once in five years as per their custom. “It is our traditional practice and people travel on bullock carts to Srirangam which is around 50 km from our villages,” said Shanmugam, one of the devotees of the group. ‘
They started their pilgrimage on Thursday and reached Srirangam by Friday afternoon. All the carts appeared same in size and covered with tarpaulin. Each cart carried one family. “We observe fast before starting the journey and carry stock of groceries for at least four days. We use to take rest whenever we need but ensure we reach by next day”, Shanmugam stressed.
Upon reaching Srirangam, they halted at a coconut grove in Melur, where the women started cooking in large utensils. “This is a practice of thanksgiving to Lord Ranganatha Swamy. We offer paddy and cows as part of thanksgiving. At the same time, we pray for prosperity in agriculture, personal intentions like seeking marriage alliance for our wards, good health to all our family members, especially children,” said, Selvaraj another devotee.
After reaching the temple, they take a holy dip in the Cauvery and shave their heads before offer prayers to the deity. They will begin their homeward journey on Sunday.