Tamil Nadu: Two people were killed and several injured after a stampede happened during the Chithirai festival celebration in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai on Saturday morning.
#WATCH | Tamil Nadu: A huge crowd of devotees witness the entry of Lord Kallazhagar into the Vaigai River, for the unity & amity of the Saiva-Vaishnava, as part of the #MaduraiChithiraiFestival2022 festival, in Madurai pic.twitter.com/9zDL92LaOD
— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 2022
Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin has expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. He has ordered the Chief Minister’s General Relief Fund to provide ₹5 lakh each to the families of the deceased and ₹2 lakh each to the ones who are seriously injured. Further, ₹1 lakh will be given every person with minor injuries.
Huge crowds were seen in attendance as the annual chariot festival processions were carried out in the southern state. A large number of devotees gathered for the entry of Lord Kallazhagar into the Vaigai river – for the unity and amity of the Saiva-Vaishnava.
The festival – which is celebrated during the Tamil month of Chithirai – saw muted celebrations in the previous two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual festival is also known as Chithirai Thiruvizha, Meenakshi Kalyanam or Meenakshi Thirukalyanam. It commenced last week and the traditional flag hoisting was done at the Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai on Tuesday.
The festival celebrations last for one month – out of which the first 15 days mark the celebrations of the coronation of Goddess Meenakshi as the divine ruler of Madurai, and her marriage.
The festival highlights the celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar. The wedding, also known as Thirukalyanam, was observed on Thursday at the iconic temple, according to the temple authorities. The Kallazhagar festival is being held on Saturday.