Devotion in full glow as Barani and Maha Deepams lit in T’malai
TIRUVANNAMALAI: The lighting of the Barani Deepam at 4 am inside Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple and the Maha Deepam atop the 2,671-foot high Annamalai hill at 6 pm were celebrated with religious fervor and gusto by devotees in the temple town of Tiruvannamalai on Tuesday.
The Barani Deepam was lit inside the temple with a huge round metal tray holding five big earthen lamps (agals) containing the five deepams signifying the pancha murthis. The Arunachaleswarar sannadhi was gaily decked with flowers both inside and outside as also other sannadhis.
In view of the record turnout of devotees, the town came under a total police blanket headed by north zone IG Kannan under whom 4 DIGs and 27 SPs headed a 12,000 strong police force. Devotees entering the town through the 9 approach roads were allowed in only after thorough security screening at check posts.
The increase in the number of devotees after a two-year pandemic related hiatus was physically evident with sanitary staff being on their toes to ensure the cleanliness of the 14-km girivalam path, which was expected to see 10 lakh devotees on Tuesday night.
When Lord Arthanareswarar came out of the sanctum sanctorum at 6 pm, it was the signal to light the deepams, which were waved toward the hill and the Maha Deepam was lit simultaneously atop Annamalai. Chants of “Annamalayarukku Arohara” rent the air with many devotees prostrating on the roads both inside and outside the town. The Maha Deepam, which will glow for the next 11 days, can be seen up to a distance of 10 km from the temple town.
HR&CE Minister PK Sekarbabu and Collector B Murugesh were present during the lighting of both Barani and Maha Deepams. Sekarbabu also inaugurated a sales centre for prasad and religious scripture in the town during the day.