Over 11,000 reach Sathuragiri hills

Over 11,000 devotees from various parts of the State climbed Sathuragiri hills to offer prayers to Sundara Mahalingam Temple on Thursday ahead of Aadi Amavasai on Saturday. Devotees will be allowed to climb the hill till August 14.

Aadi Amavasai festival is an important event in which thousands of devotees — young and old, men and women — climb the hills and go through a difficult mountainous terrain.

The district administration has restricted the timing for the nearly eight-km climb from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Virudhunagar district police have set up a mini control room at Thaniparai foothills and installed CCTVs to monitor movement of devotees. Crime prevention squads have been posted to look out for anti-social and criminal elements among the crowd.

Madurai and Virudhunagar district administrations have provided generators for lighting.

Water tanks for supply of drinking water have been installed at every 500 metres. Twenty-four dolis have been arranged for the benefit of elderly devotees. Toilet facilities have been provided at 14 spots. Nine medical teams have been deployed and four ‘108’ ambulances are on the standby to meet any eventuality.

Besides, elaborate security arrangements have been made by Virudhunagar and Madurai district police from Thaniparai junction to the temple. Forest officials have been posted at vital junctions.

Several parking lots have been provided for two-wheelers and four-wheelers at different locations.

A temporary bus stand has been created at the foothills. Virudhunagar police have introduced one-way traffic arrangement on the narrow roads to prevent traffic congestion.

Thirty-five mini buses have been arranged to transport people from Watrap-Thaniparai junction to the Thaniparai foothills.

Devotee dies

A devotee from Melur, Manoharan, 57, collapsed near Petchiamman Temple while climbing the hill. A medical team that attended on him declared him dead. His body was brought down using a ‘doli.’ Madurai district police, through its Madurai Kavalan App, has introduced a new application for the benefit of devotees coming to the temple. Devotees can download Madurai Kavalan App from Google Playstore, a statement from N. Manivannan, Superintendent of Police, Madurai district, said. They can also use the “Wi-Fi router” Gomesh of Geomeo Informatics at Thaniparai foothills.

They can go to the App using the Wi-Fi connection and learn the history of the temple, locate parking lots, emergency helpline numbers, size of the crowd on the hills, and also locations of medical facilities, drinking water and food. People who have already downloaded Madurai Kavalan app need to update it, the statement said.

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