Maha deepam in all its glory atop Annamalai hills
Maha deepam in all its glory atop Annamalai hills

More than 32L devotees visited T’malai over 2 days for Deepam fest

Similarly, those permitted to climb the hill set fire to bushes to see the path in the dark on the return journey.

TIRUVANNAMALAI: The Tiruvannamalai district administration has been receiving kudos from various quarters including officialdom, media and the public through social media and phone calls for problem free conduct of the Karthigai Deepam on Tuesday and Wednesday, sources said.

“Our work over the last week to ensure total satisfaction of all visitors to the temple town paid off with the Karthigai Deepam festival went off without a hitch” collector B Murugesh told the reporter.

Maha deepam in all its glory atop Annamalai hills
Devotion in full glow as Barani and Maha Deepams lit in T’malai

This has resulted in the district administration and the rural development and panchayat raj departments being singled out for praise, he added.

To ensure that the work of the 3000 employees who were on their toes through this period was acknowledged, the collector held a video conference with the concerned departments and personally thanked them.

Asked about the headcount of visitors, the collector said, “we used head scanners at the check posts in the 9 entry points to the town and over the two-day Deepam and Girivalam celebrations, more than 32 lakh participated in the celebrations which is the highest ever attendance for this event.”

The 12,000 cops also played their part. The most notable being the nabbing of a youth who attempted to sell free passes issued to Kattalaidarars and Ubeyadarars by the HR&CE department at Rs 2,000 per pass.

Maha deepam in all its glory atop Annamalai hills
Huge crowd at Thiruvannamalai for Karthigai Deepam

A video of the issue which went viral reached the Collector who immediately alerted the police resulting in the youth being nabbed. The act relieved devotees, many of whom were peeved at being unable to witness the event from inside the Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar temple.

Similarly, those permitted to climb the hill set fire to bushes to see the path in the dark on the return journey. This was put out immediately by forest department officials.

However, there is increasing clamour among social activists about limiting the number. Only 2,500 were permitted on Tuesday to ascend the hill as forest officials were sore at having to pick up discarded bottles and plastic bags.

Maha deepam in all its glory atop Annamalai hills
AQI dips in Chennai due to crackers burst on Karthigai Deepam

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