All roads lead to Srirangam on Vaikunta Ekadasi
Sri Namperumal attired in ‘Ratnangi’ passing through the Paramapada Vasal on the occasion of Vaikunda Ekadasi festival at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam on Friday 29.12.2017
TIRUCHI, DECEMBER 30, 2017 00:00 IST
UPDATED: DECEMBER 30, 2017 04:59 IST
Devotees throng Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple to witness opening of ‘Paramapada Vasal’, highlight of the 21-day festival
Spiritual fervour permeated the entire temple town of Srirangam, as devotees turned out in huge numbers to offer worship to Lord Ranganatha, and Sri Namperumal – the processional deity — at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi on Friday.
The glittering temple complex reverberated with chants of thousands of devotees, who braved the chill and waited patiently to catch a glimpse of Sri Namperumal on the auspicious Ekadasi day in the Tamil month of Marghazhi.
Clad in ‘Ratnangi,’ Namperumal left the ‘Moolasthanam’ around 3.45 a.m. and was taken in a magnificent procession amid chants of ‘Govinda’ by devotees lined up in the praharams.
The processional deity passed through Raja Mahendran Tiruchutru and Kulasekaran Tiruchutru before reaching the ‘Vraja Nadhi Mandapam’, which was decked with flowers and where priests stood reciting the Vedic hymns.
The deity, thereafter, slowly proceeded towards the ‘Paramapada Vasal’, which was opened around 5 a.m., and passed through the ‘Paramapada Vasal’, as the devotees’ chanting of the Lord’s name reached a crescendo. The idol was then taken to the Thirumamani Asthana Mandapam, where it was kept all through the day for public darshan.
The opening of the ‘Paramapadha Vaasal’ on Ekadasi day in the Tamil month of Margazhi is the highlight of the 21-day Vaikunta Ekadasi festival at Srirangam temple – foremost of the Divyadesams.
The festival is split into Pagal Pathu and Raa Pathu culminating with Nammazhwar Moksham on January 8. The turnout of devotees was huge this year as well with several of them waiting patiently in long queues since Thursday night to offer worship and catch a glimpse of Namperumal.
LED and LCD screens were installed at various spots within the sprawling temple premises for devotees to witness the events taking place inside.
Security was stepped up inside and outside the temple with police personnel deployed at various spots to regulate the movement of devotees and vehicles.
The entire town wore a festive look as devotees from various parts of the State and from outside thronged the temple on the holy day. Barricades were erected at various spots in the temple town to regulate vehicular movements.