HC refrains from passing order on Athi Varadar; ‘Nindra Thirukolam’ from Aug 1

The Madras High Court has refrained from deciding whether Athi Varadar, a fig wood idol of Lord Varadaraja Perumal taken out of the Devarajaswamy temple tank, Anantasaras, in Kancheepuram once in 40 years and kept for worship on the temple premises for 48 days was only a guest or could he also be considered as a Moolavar.

Refusing to delve deep into the issue while dismissing a public interest litigation petition which questioned the decision taken by the temple management to prevent devotees from worshipping Devarajaswamy and other idols in order to control the crowd thronging to worship Athi Varadar, a Division Bench of Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad said that the officials were entitled to restrain devotees from worshipping the Moolavar

It said the decision could not be found fault with since it was imposed only from July 18 when the crowd swelled to 2.75 lakh a day though the Athi Varadar idol had been kept for worship in the temple since July 1.

Meanwhile, officials are making arrangements for Nindra Thirukolam from August 1. For free Darshan timings are from 5am to 9:30pm, for Rs. 500 darshan morning 6am to 8am and evening 6pm to 8pm. For Rs. 300 darshan from evening 6:30Pm to 9:30Pm. For VIP and Donor Pass Darshan it’s from 5:30am to 5:30Pm daily.

The Tamil Nadu government has decided to deploy more security personnel to manage the rush of devotees at the Devarajaswami temple in the state’s Kancheepuram following more complaints of suffocation.

Large number of devotees throng the temple to pray to Athi Varadar, who gives ‘darshan’ to people once in 40 years. The 12-foot idol of Athi Varadar (made of fig tree wood), lying in a silver casket underwater in the temple tank for the past 40 years, was taken out on June 28.

The Tamil Nadu government recently informed the Madras High Court that six devotees believed to have died in a stampede during the Lord Athi Varadar festival in Kancheepuram lost their lives due to some other reason.