Madurai temple gears up for big ceremony, security tightened


Madurai (Tamil Nadu) : With over 500,000 devotees expected to converge at the famed Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple here Wednesday for a ceremony that takes place once every 12 years, police are not taking any chances and have tightened security.

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Over 6,000 police personnel will be deployed at the complex for the Kumbhabhishekam or consecration ceremony in this temple town, about 400 km from Chennai.

“Following nationwide terrorist threats we are taking the responsibility of handling over 500,000 devotees and its security logistics seriously during the consecration scheduled tomorrow (Wednesday) morning,” said Madurai Police Commissioner K. Nanda Balan.

“The city is an important parliamentary constituency (from where Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s elder son M.K. Azhagiri is contesting). We are viewing intelligence inputs about security concerns very seriously,” Balan told IANS.

Director General of Police K.P. Jain said over telephone from Chennai that the law and order machinery was fully geared up as far as precautionary measures were concerned.

“My colleague Additional Director General of Police T. Rajendran and I reviewed the preparations during recent visits. Our deployment of a strong force is a mixture of ample precaution and thorough police methods.”

Dedicated to Sundareshvara (Shiva) and his consort Parvati or Meenakshi, the ancient temple is known for its several intricately carved ‘gopurams’ or towers that are covered with figures of dieties and mythical animals in vivid colours.

The temple was elected one of India’s seven wonders in a privately organised television contest.