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Srirangam gears up for Vaikunta Ekadasi

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Considered as foremost of 108 Divya Desam temples, the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam is gearing up to host the annual Vaikunta Ekadasi festival scheduled to begin from December 18. Marquees for the 22-day-long festival are being erected in crucial people gathering spots to manage huge footfall of devotees which is expected to touch five lakh.
Fondly addressed as 'Boologa Vaikundam' (Heaven on Earth), Srirangam's history is prominent for the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple which dates back to several centuries.

Every year, during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January), Vaikunta Ekadasi is being celebrated throughout the month in the pattern of Pagal Paththu and Raa Paththu. Both the Paththus have a series of consecutive 10-day events during which Namperumal appears for darshan to common public in various disguise. This year, the festival has been scheduled to commence with Thirunedunthandakam on December 18 and will go on till January 8, 2018, the day marked for the observance of Nammalvar Motcham, conclusion of the auspicious festival. The most significant event of Vaikunta Ekadasi, opening of Paramapadavasal has been scheduled to commence by the early hours of December 29.
P Jayaraman, Hindu religious and charitable endowment (HR&CE), joint commissioner said, "Queue arrangements and sufficient numbers of marquees are being erected near thousand pillar mandapam to ensure smooth entry and exit of devotees. Last year, we had about 47 CCTV cameras, this year the number will go up after holding consultations with the city police." Subsequently, a control room facility to monitor crowd movement is likely to be established within the temple.
Meanwhile, the Trichy Corporation has planned to launch an eviction drive from Mambalasalai to Srirangam temple's Rajagopuram as several shops were found encroaching a part of public space by establishing temporary shelters.
"With highways department, encroachment clearance drive would be organised in the week. We are even planning to penalise the traders by Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for repeatedly encroaching public land," a senior corporation official with Srirangam zone said.


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