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Vigil up in Srirangam as Vaikunta Ekadasi fest begins



The famous Vaikunta Ekadasi festival at the Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple commenced on Monday with the ‘Thirunedunthandagam’ ritual.

The City Police opened a temporary outpost in the temple by deploying a team of police personnel to man it round-the-clock. The outpost has been provided with monitors connected to a chain of surveillance cameras installed inside the temple to monitor the movements taking place at various spots within the shrine.

The festival draws a huge crowd annually. The ‘Pagal Pathu’ of the festival begins on Tuesday and would go on for the next 10 days up to December 28. The main event of the 21-day festival is the opening of the “Paramapadavaasal” on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day falling on December 29.

The next day after the Vaikunta Ekadasi is the commencement of the ‘Ira Pathu’ celebrations with annual festival concluding with the “Nammazhwar Moksham” on January 8. Anticipating a huge turn out of devotees this time too for the celebrations, the City Police and the temple authorities have made necessary arrangements for the devotees.

Commissioner of Police A. Amalraj inaugurated the temple post in the presence of the temple’s Joint Commissioner P. Jayaraman and officials of the police and Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.

Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Amalraj said more surveillance cameras were proposed to be installed to enhance surveillance in the temple town. Surveillance cameras have been installed at 42 vital spots within the shrine and public address system at 73 other places to pass on information.

Big size LED and LCD screens would be installed at 21 places in and around the temple to enable devotees watch the rituals taking place inside the shrine. The City Police had also identified 11 temporary parking lots in the temple surroundings.

Dedicated mobile numbers have been provided to the temporary police outpost established in the temple premises, he said adding that the services of Home Guards would also be utilised.

Around 4,000 police personnel would be deployed at various places in Srirangam on Vaikunta Ekadasi that falls on December 29 as a large turn out of devotees was expected on that day, Commissioner Amalraj said.

In addition to City Police personnel, manpower strength would be augmented on that day by drawing men and officers from other districts as well, he added.

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