TIRUVANNAMALAI: The five cars of Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple, which will carry various deities during the annual Karthigai Deepam festival starting on November 27 this year, are presently getting refurbished at a cost of Rs 30 lakh and are expected to be put on trial run a fortnight before the event.
Temple sources said the cars would carry the deities Vinayagar, Murugar, Arunachaleswar, Parasakkthi and Chandkeswarar.
The temple administration has earmarked Rs 30 lakh for refurbishing of the cars, which did not see much use in the last two years due to the pandemic-related lockdown. Interestingly, a motley crowd of locals and visitors to the temple is always seen around the cars, which are undergoing repair.
“Lack of use has resulted in the wooden parts stiffening which has to be set right to ensure the chariots are able to carry the deities without any issues,” a temple official said. Officials also told that the temple car which will carry the deity of Lord Muruga needed maximum work as the “Alangara Mandapam” has been affected, while the peedam (pedestal) containing the wheels are not that bad.
However, temple officials and devotees are keeping their fingers crossed hoping that the Rs 15 crore work on laying concrete roads around the temple are completed at the earliest as otherwise the temple car procession may not be held.
“Work is underway on the western and northern portions of the road and whenever we approach PWD officials to expedite the work, they cite rules not understanding the religious significance of the temple cars’ procession,” said a devotee.