Tight security at Varadarajaswamy temple as Athi Varadar placed in tank

After Lord Athi Varadar was kept inside Ananta Saras temple tank late on Saturday night as the 48-day-long festival in Kanchipuram Sri Devarajaswamy temple came to close, the temple town has been witnessing rains and the thirukulam is fast filling up.

The idol, made of fig wood, was brought out of the tank after 40 years and placed in the Vasantha Mandapam for devotees to have darshan. Now that the idol has been immersed, it will remain inside the tank for another 40 years.

The chamber inside the tank has a brick floor and granite walls, and the idol has been kept in sayana kolam (reclining posture), facing east.  Security has been increased at the Ananthasaras tank at the Sri Devarajaswamy temple in Kancheepuram, where the idol of Athi Varadar was placed in an underwater chamber at 12.30 a.m. on Sunday.

The height of the compound wall around the tank will be increased and more CCTV cameras will be installed in the temple. Crowd management during the Athi Varadar festival started to become a huge challenge to the police after the first week as the crowds started flocking the temple started to distend beyond two lakh devotees.

Kanchipuram District Collector K. Ponniah said, “The temple will also have more security personnel around the tank since devotees have a lot of interest to visit the tank. No one will be allowed to enter the tank.”

From 1 July to 31 July, the idol was in sayana kolam (lying down posture) and from 1 August in nindra kolam (standing). On 17 August, there was no public darshan. The festival witnessed a daily rush of over one lakh devotees with the crowd exceeding three lakhs on several days, especially on weekends.

Every 40 years, the festival is celebrated at the Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram   The festival saw a turnout of over 1 crore people visiting the Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram this year.