Chennai: The pleasant breeze lent greater ambience to the occasion as the evening sky was illuminated with a 'red ball of fire' marking the grand Karthigai deepam festival at the ancient Sri Arunachaleshwar temple in neighbouring Tiruvannamalai. Devotees who had gathered went ecstatic and chanted the name of the Lord at the lighting of the deepam.
Religious fervour marked the lighting of the sacred maha deepam atop the mountain on Friday evening.
A large number of devotees who had gathered to witness it chanted "Annamalaikku Arohara" with devotion. Shortly after it was lit, all the streets of Tiruvannamalai were illuminated with bright oil lamps, thus throwing a chain of glitter all around.
During the evening, the decorated deities of the 'Panchamurthys' were carried on palanquins and placed in the Mandapam. The image of Lord Ardhanareeswarar was taken out. Subsequently, 'Aganda Deepam' was lit in the Tiruvannamalai temple complex.
This is the most important ceremony during the Karthigai Deepam festival at Tiruvannamalai.
Earlier in the day, as part of the tenth day festivities which commenced at around 4 am, the Bharani Deepam was lit at the temple.
The evening ceremony started with Lord Periya nayagar's outing on the golden Rishaba vahanam. The Mahadeepam was lit atop the hill at around 6 pm.
The annual Karthigai Deepam festival commenced at the ancient Sri Arunachaleshwar temple on November 14 with Dwajarohanam. Lord Arunachaleswarar is represents agni here.
A heavy posse of police was deployed to provide hassle free darshan for the lakhs of devotees who have come from various parts of Tamil Nadu and from other parts of the country to witness the magnificent event.