CHENNAI: Thursday commenced with an auspicious start for hundreds of devotees who managed to visit the Sri Devaraja Swamy temple in neighbouring Kancheepuram and had a darshan of Athi Varadar. The Lord graced the devotees in standing posture. Decked in blue silk robes and adorned with flowers, Athi Varadar's appearance enthralled the devotees.
A large number of devotees who had darshan of Athi Varadar in ‘sayana kolam’ (reclining posture) on July 31, halted at Kancheepuram for the night and queued up in the wee hours of Thursday to have a glimpse of the Lord in the altered position. Athi Varadar, who was brought out from the temple tank after a long gap of four decades, was placed in the Vasantha mandapam on July 1 and he had offered darshan to the devotees in reclining position till July 31. From today, the Lord's gigantic idol was altered to standing position. He will remain in this posture till August 17, when the 48-day vaibhavam concludes.
Some of the devotees had queued up for darshan as early as 4 am, though the temple doors were opened at 5:30 am today. By noon about one lakh persons were said to have had darshan of the Lord. Since the last 31 days, about 46.55 lakh persons were said to have visited Athi Varadar. And during the 29 days of the festival, the offering at the six temporary hundials accounted to Rs 2.60 crore, said sources.
“Being the first day of the nindra kolam darshan, the crowed had moved fast. The disabled were ensured quick and safe darshan,” Kancheepuram district collector P. Ponnaiah said. The district administration has mobilised additional police force to regulate the crowd.
Make-shift tents were put up to accommodate about 10 thousand devotees at six places in the temple complex. When the crowd swells, the devotees are stopped at the tents and allowed for darshan in regulated numbers....