Thiruvannamalai, Nov 24 (UNI) Thousands of devotees thronged the famous Arunachaleswarar Temple, one of the abode of Lord Shiva, to witness 'Bharani Deepam' and 'Maha Deepam' as part of Karthigai Deepam festival.
The festival, which is celebrated in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November-December), began on Uttradam day with flag hoisting and would go on for nine days.
Chanting of ''Annamalaiku Arohara'' rent the air as the Bharani Deepam was lit inside the temple in the morning, while the Maha Deepam was lit atop the Annamalai hills this evening.
On the hill top, Maha Deepam was lit in a big copper utensil, filled with large quantities of camphor and ghee. The Deepam could be seen from miles around for some days. The Karthigai day synchronised with the full moon day.
The deity, Ardhanareeswarar was taken out in a procession around the temple with five deepams.
The eleven-storeyed Gopuram (Temple tower) was also lit with ''Ahals''(earthern oil lamps) set in rows in all the storeys.
Lighting festival was celebrated in all the temples of South India, including Vishnu temples.
Elsewhere in the State, people celebrated Karthigai Deepam by illuminating their houses with Ahals.