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Vaikunda Ekadasi festival came to an end

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TRICHY: With the observance of Nammalvar Motcham in Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam, the 22-day long Vaikunda Ekadasi festival celebrations came to a conclusion on Friday. The annual festival was said to have attracted at least 10 lakh devotees to the island, official sources in Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department said.

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During the rituals for Nammalvar Motcham, the idol of Nammalvar, one of the 12 supreme devotees of Lord Vishnu was placed at the feet of Lord Namperumal, the processional deity of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. Temple sources said that the practice was observed re-enacting the act of saint Nammalvar achieving Motcham (transcendent state). “During the first week of Vaikunda Ekadasi, there was poor footfall as half-yearly exams were underway for the school students. But in the last 10 days since the opening of Paramapatha Vaasal, at least 7 lakh people thronged the temple,” P Jayaraman, HR&CE joint-commissioner of the temple said. as a total of 10 lakh people have taken part in the annual festival.

Every year, during the Tamil month Margazhi (December-January), Vaikunda Ekadasi is celebrated almost for a month in the pattern of Pagal Pathu (daytime celebrations for 10 days) and Raa Pathu (night time celebrations for 10 days). On the first day of Raa Paththu, Namperumal will be taken in a procession from sanctum sanctorum, exiting the Paramapatha Vaasal also known as Sorga Vaasal (gateway to heaven) for the devotees in thousand pillar mandapam. As the pivotal event was held on December 18, apparently on Friday, the final day of annual festival Nammalvar Motcham was celebrated with devotees permitted for darshan since the early hours.

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