Karthigai Deepam began with a flag hoisting ceremony
Karthigai Deepam has began with a flag hoisting ceremony at Sri Arunachaleswarar temple on Nov. 27. Deputy speaker K Pichandi and Collector B Murugesh were took part in the flag hoisting ceremony on Nov. 27. Around 25 lakh devotees, from India and foreign countries, are expected to throng the temple town. This year, only 2,500 devotees will be allowed to climb the 2,668-feet-tall Annamalaiyar Hill to witness the Maha Deepam, during Karthigai Deepam, said officials. Apart from the Maha Deepam at 6 pm, the festival will see another major event Bharani Deepam, the lighting of the lamp at 4 am. Hymns will be sung eulogizing the presiding deities Annamalaiyar and Unnamulaiamman. Necessary arrangements were made including makeshift parking facilities, operation of special fleets and trains, installation of CCTV cameras, drinking water facilities and toilets, and help centers. Medical mobile units and police teams were also deployed. The festival will culminate on December 6. In view of Karthigai Deepam, Collector B Murugesh ordered the closure of Tasmac outlets and bars in Tiruvannamalai and surrounding areas for six days from December 2 to 7. The following Tasmac outlets will be closed: Outlet no. 9481 near Kamarajar statue, no. 9249 at Vengikkal lake banks, no 9490 in Vengikkal bypass, and no 9476 at Nallavanpalayam. This includes bars operating in the town limits such as Hotel Thirusool, Hotel Nala, Hotel Ashreya, Hotel Arunachala, and the ex-servicemen canteen at Vengikkal.