The Aththi Varadar deity will be kept for worship from July 1 to August 17.

After 40 years under water Kancheepuram temple deity to open for devotees from July 1Wikimedia Commons/By Ssriram MT, Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0)
news Religion Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 09:00

The temple town of Kancheepuram is gearing up to receive lakhs of devotees hoping for a rare 'darshan' of the Aththi Varadar deity after a long gap of 40 years at the Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple.

The 12-foot idol of Aththi Varadar (made out of fig tree), lying in a silver casket under water in the temple tank for the past 40 years, was taken out on Friday early morning amidst chants of ‘Varadha Varadha’ by devotees. Darshan will be allowed for 48 days from July 1 to August 17 at the temple. 

The idol will be kept in a reclining position for the first 40 days of the darshan and in standing posture for the last eight days.

The last time Aththi Varadar was raised out of the water was on July 2, 1979 and before that in 1939. Normally, a person can have 'darshan' of Aththi Varadar once or twice in his or her lifetime. The idol was the main deity of the temple during the 16th century till it was immersed in the temple tank to protect it from being plundered by invaders. Later, since the temple authorities could not trace the original idol, poojas resumed with a stone idol in place of the fig tree idol.

After 40 years, in 1709, the temple tank was emptied for some reason and the authorities discovered the original idol on the bed of the tank. It was then decided that the idol will be taken out once every 40 years and worshipped for 48 days.

"We are expecting between 30,000 - 50,000 devotees per day between July 1 and August 17. All the arrangements are in place. Three temporary bus stands have been built outside the town. Parking lots have been created outside the town for cars and other vehicles. Shuttle services will be operated to transport the devotees to the Varadaraja Perumal Temple," P. Ponniah, Collector, Kancheepuram District told IANS.

With inputs from IANS

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