After a 48-days-long Darshan of Lord Athi Varadar, the deity bid farewell to its devotees for another 40 years on August 17. There are some points on about the Athi Varadar Festival. STATIC About the Athi Varadar festival
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- Every 40 years, the festival is celebrated at the Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram.
- But this year the increase in a number of devotees prompted the management to shift the deity to the nearby Devarajaswamy temple.
- The 12-feet idol of Athi Varadar (made out of fig tree) encased in silver is kept immersed in the temple tank - Ananthasagar tank at the Varadaraja Perumal Temple for every 40 years.
- It was taken out on June 28 this year.
- Devotees were allowed for the 48 days long 'darshanam' which commenced on July 1 and concluded on August 17.
- Lord Athi Varadar was kept in the Kidainda Kolam (sleeping posture) for the first 38 days and Nindra Kolam (standing posture) for the last 10 days.
- Separate queues were made for the general crowd, VIPs and senior citizens, pregnant women, and differently-abled people.
- Medical camps were set up at strategic points, along with facilities for parking, drinking water and restrooms.
- Several platoons of the Tamil Nadu State Police were pressed into service to oversee security during the festival and help in providing assistance to the devotees.
- The Southern Railway introduced special trains to Kancheepuram to help devotees offer prayers to Lord Athi Varadar.
- The Tamil Nadu government also introduced over 350 buses to transport devotees from major cities to Kancheepuram for 48 days.
- Athi Varadar was last raised out of the water was on July 2, 1979.
- The next Athi Varadar festival will be held in 2059.