This year’s arubathumovvar procession on Sunday, for the Panguni festival of Sri Kapali Temple must have attracted the largest number of people in recent times – over the 24 hours since late Saturday evening, a couple of lakhs of people must have attended this grand procession of the 62 Nayanmars around the mada streets.
The big surge in participation could have been because this was a Sunday, a holiday for all.
As late as 8 p.m. on Sunday, people were still streaming in from all sides, saving themselves the heat of the day and having a quick darshan of the gods and the saints as the procession entered North Mada Street’s east end.
There was order all around, with crowd management well done by city police. But the litter was great – food, plastic and paper dumped all over, even as far as Royapettah High Road and Mandaveli – leftovers dropped by people who had their fill at annadhanam stalls all around the temple zone.
Since the mada streets had been cleared of vegetable and other hawkers, Royapettah High Road turned into a marketspace where people could buy imitation jewelry and kamarakat, sundal and cheap sunglasses, vegetables and pots and pans.