Rajini offers prayers to Athi Varadar, plea in HC to extend darshan for another 48 days

Superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday night offered prayers to Lord Athi Varadar in Kanchipuram. Accompanied by his wife Latha Rajinikanth, the actor reached Sri Varadarajaswamy temple and offered prayers.

He was greeted by crowds who were there in large numbers for the darshan. Meanwhile, the Madras High Court is slated to hear today a writ petition filed by a 78-year-old devotee of Athi Varadar to forbear the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department from immersing the fig wood idol in the tank of Devarajaswamy Temple in Kanchipuram on August 17 and instead keep it for worship in the temple for 48 more days.

So far, about 90 lakh devotees and pilgrims have worshipped Him in the 43 days that the darshan has been arranged.

Since the rush continues and it would peak on the last day of darshan – 16 August – the case has been filed in the court seeking an extension in the darshan days.

Justice P D Audikesavalu on Monday agreed to hear the case filed by K Tamizharasi of Ariyalur district on Tuesday. The idol was taken out last on July 2, 1979.

Lord Athi Varadar has been giving darshan in sayana thirukolam (reclining posture) from 1 July till 31 July and from then on in ninra thirukolam (standing pose). The 48-day vaibhavam would conclude 17 August with the idol being returned to the temple tank to be taken out only after 40 years.

The petitioner said she stood in the queue for six to seven hours on July 14 and August 5 and yet could not get to see the deity. She said several other elderly people, pregnant women and the physically challenged too faced a similar situation and were put to great hardship.