Nellaiappar temple chariot ropes snapped during Aani festival, 2024 - yet another incident due to HR & CE's apathy

 Nellaiappar temple car Aani festival 2024. TN ,

The Aani car festival at Nell Gandhimathi Amman Temple in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, faced significant issues this year. Devotees who attended the event on June 21 this year were disappointed when four ropes of the temple car snapped sequentially as it began its journey around the four Car (Ratha) streets.

Snapped temple car rope, Nellaiappar temple,TN

After the initial failure, HR&CE (Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment) Department officials replaced  the ropes with a new one, only to have another rope break soon after. In response, the officials arranged an iron chain to pull the 85-foot-tall temple car and finally brought ropes from the Tiruchendur Subramania Swamy Temple. Amidst chants of "Om Muruga" and "Om Namachivaya," the 450-ton car eventually continued its procession.

.Nellaiappar car festival, Tirunelveli city, TN, old image.

Devotees were upset with HR&CE officials, accusing them of not arranging quality ropes and blaming poor maintenance and substandard purchases for the mishaps. The repeated snapping of ropes was seen as a bad omen by many, particularly the elderly. Official apathy was the primary reason for this misadventure during an important Hindu temple  festival. In the last one and half decades people are blaming the govt agency for corrupt practices and financial misstatement, etc that keep going with no solution in sight.

The Aani festival is a major event at the 2000-year-old shrine, featuring the procession of the temple cars of Swami Nellaiyappar, Gandhimathi Ambal, Vinayagar, and Subramaniyar along the four car streets. This year’s festival, which includes the third largest car in Tamil Nadu after those of the Tiruvarur Thygaraja Temple and Srivilliputhur Andal Temple, began on June 13 with a flag-hoisting event attended by senior district officials. To ensure safety, around 1500 police personnel were deployed, and a local holiday was declared for schools, colleges, and government offices on the day of the car festival.