Chennai: Vaikunta Ekadashi was ushered in with religious fervour on Tuesday. Hundreds of devotees thronged Vaishnavite temples across the city for a darshan of the Lord when the Paramapadavasal (the gateway to heaven) was opened. Chennai's ancient Vaishnavite shrine, Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple, eulogised by the Alwars, was opened to the devotees in the wee hours.
Darshan of the Moolavar, who graces along with his family members was facilitated for the devotees continuously till 11.30 pm. The Paramapadavasal at the Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple, which is 61st Divya Desam among the 108 Vaishnava Divya Desams, was opened at 4.30 am. There was a steady trickle of devotees throughout the day and loud chants of "Govinda" and "Venkata Krishna" by the devotees filled the air during the auspicious occasion of opening the temPle doors.
Later, after Thirumanjanam, the Utsava deity of Lord Parthasarathy was taken out in a grand procession at midnight. The Vaikunta Ekadasi festival at the Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Temple held in the Tamil month of Margazhi is an important ritual.The festivities associated with this grand event are spread over 21 days. The first ten days, culminating with the Mohini Avataram is known as Pagalpathu and then Vaikunta Ekadasi is observed. The ten days preceding the Ekadasi festival is referred to as Rapathu.
The devotees patiently waited their turn to have a glimpse of the Lord passing through the Paramapadavasal. This particular entry point to the sanctum sanctorum is opened only on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day.
The day was observed at the Venkateswara Swamy temple within the TTD information centre, T. Nagar, Veeraghava Perumal temple, Tiruvallur, Sri Prasanna Venkata Narasimha Perumal temple Saidapet, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal temple, Nanganallur, Varadaraja Perumal temple, Mugalivakkam and Ashtabuja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram....