The 10-day Aani Thirumanjanam festival began with flag hoisting at the Sabanayagar temple, popularly known as Sri Natarajar temple in Chidambaram on Tuesday, amid chanting of hymns and special pujas.
Source said the flag hoisting was held without devotees, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only the Pothu Dikshithars, the hereditary custodians-cum-archakas of the temple were allowed to participate in the festival. The decision has been taken in view of the COVID-19 protocol and due to the orders of the government, sources said.
“The annual car festival scheduled on July 14 has also been cancelled. The Pothu Dikshithars will perform the rituals in-house while maintaining physical distancing,” a spokesperson of the Pothu Dikshithars association said.
Devotees will be allowed into the temple from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. till July 17.
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