Madurai, Apr 19: Thousands of devotees from various parts of the country participated in the annual Chithirai Therottam (car festival) of the ancient Sri Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple here, held as part of the ongoing 12-day Chithirai Brahmotsavam festival, today.
The processional deities of Lord Sundareswarar and his consort Goddess Piriyavidai were mounted on the decorated Big Thaer (temple car), while Goddess Meenakshi was taken in the Small Thaer. Amid chanting of vedic hymns by the temple priests, the devotees, led by District Collector S S Jawahar, pulled the temple cars at 0605 hrs from the Keezha Masi Veedhi (street). The cars were taken around the temple through the four Masi streets and reached the destination at 1045 hrs.
A large number of policemen were deployed along the procession route to regulate the crowd. Police made tight security arrangements in and around the temple complex. Philanthropists and donors arranged free buttermilk and drinking water to quench the thirst of the devotees.