Karthigai Deepam festival Nov. 26 at Sri Arunachaleswarar temple, Tiruvannamalai, Security precautions taken by TN Govt. -

Karthigai Deepam festival, TN  ourmyindia.com
Karthigai Deepam festival at Sri Arunachaleswarar temple, Tiruvannamalai is a 10 day colorful and exciting event involving numerous rituals, religious processions, car (chariot/ therottam) event besides, girivalam, etc, This year main  Deepam festival  is scheduled for  Nov. 26. Also referred  to as one of the most important festivals in Tamil Nadu that falls on the full moon day (or a day earlier) in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November-December), the lighting of traditional oil lamps in the homes  takes place in the evening after sunset when Maha deepam is lit atop the 2668 tall Arunachala hill close to the temple. Lighting of  Bharani Deepam is held  at 4 am on the temple premises. The  customary  flag hoisting ceremony at Sri Arunachaleswarar temple already took place on the 17th of November in the early morning and the temple flag was hoisted on the gold-plated flag-pole dwajasthambam with puja rituals. The 10 day festival is already on.  

Karthigai deepam, Tiruvannamalai, TN marunachala.com

This year more than 3 million devotees are expected to attend the festivities, so the district administration made elaborate security arrangements to avoid any mishap. 

Tiruvannamalai Dist. map, TN.mapsofindia.com

The following arrangements by the DA, HR & CE and other govt. agencies are worthy of mention: 

01. For the duration of festival  more than 2,700 buses and 20 special trains will  connect    Tiruvannamalai town from various cities; from November 14 to 30. buses will make 6,832 trips.

02. To beef up security and threats of terrorism,  more than 14,000 police personnel will be on duty  in the town. 

03. To go up the hill of Arunachala on the main day for the maha Deepam event only about 2,500 persons will be allowed with a pass, according to officials.

04. DA  has set up  13 temporary bus terminus, mostly on the outskirts of the town and a total of 1,160 buses can be parked at these termini. 

05. 180 shuttle services will be in operation  between the temporary bus termini to various parts of the town, including the 14-km Girivalam path and the Arunachaleswara temple.

06. To prevent congestion and stampedes., only pedestrians are  allowed in the town . %9 car parking lots are set up away from the town. 

07. To safe guard accompanying children, Wrist bands will be tied to children to ensure their safety.   There are  82 health desks, mostly on the Girivalam path and the bus termini, for the festival. Around 40 ambulances,will be in service  including bike ambulances

08. According to K. Karthikeyan, SP (Tiruvannamalai), the police have set up 54 police watchtowers, and a centralised control room to monitor 623 CCTV cameras round the clock. Also included are  600 firefighters with 26 water tenders to prevent accidental fire mishaps, especially on the hillock during Maha Deepam. 

09. On the maha deepam day only limited devotees are allowed to enter the main temple. 

The above precautions taken by the TN govt and other organizations bear testimony to  how important and popular Karthigai Deepam  festival is at the Arunachaleswar temple (that represents one of the Pancha Booths -Agni), Tiruvannamalai and how this centuries old festival is held with commitments and devotion by the devotees.