Traffic will be affected on Thursday as big numbers of devotees head to Annai Vailankanni Shrine

Traffic on the main roads in San Thome and R. A. Puram may have to slow down and encounter traffic jams on Thursday post-lunchtime as pilgrims heading to the flag hoisting event at Annai Vailakanni Shrine in Besant Nagar, which marks day one of the annual fest swell in their thousands. They will be on a padayatra.

From about 1 p.m. onwards, the streams of devotees undertaking the padayatra will swell and though they walk on the pavements, people will spill on to streets and roads; so expect traffic jams and bottlenecks in San Thome, Luz and R. A. Puram, Alwarpet and along the Adyar bridge.

Traffic may be affected till about 7 p.m.

City police  have extra staff on duty in these areas to direct the pilgrims and the traffic on such a day.