Chennai, Aug 14 : Amidst the unprecedented crowd of devotees thronging the Lord Varadharaja Perumal temple at Kanchepuram to have a darshan of once in a 40-year spectacle of Lord Athi Varadar fest, a 25-year-old woman standing in queue, delivered a male baby on Wednesday. According to reports received here, the woman, Vimala, who was in the advanced stage of pregnancy, was standing in the general queue for darshan along with her husband Ashok Kumar, when she developed labour pain.
Devotees rushed her to the medical team deployed at the 16-pillar Mandapam. With the help of the doctors, the woman delivered a healthy male baby, weighing three kg. She was later shifted to Kancheepuram Government District Hospital. Devotees requested the couple to name the baby after Athi Varadar, as he was born during the rare vaibhavam (festival) that happens once in 40 years. The 48-day festival, which began on July one, would end on August 17 and the public darshan would be closed at 5pm on August 16.
So far nearly 90 lakh people from several parts of the country and abroad have had darshan of Athi Varadar. Lord Athi Varadar offered darshan in reclining posture for a month and from August one, he offered darshan in standing posture. Ever since the festival began, the temple town remained a sea of humanity. Despite being a working day, lakhs of devotees queued up to have a darshan of 'Athi Vardar' today. The idol made of fig wood was brought out from a silver vault inside Ananthasaras, the temple tank. The last time it happened was in July 1979.
The idol was brought out early on June 28 and after pujas was kept at the Vasantha Mandapam for the devotees to offer worship. The 2.5 m tall idol is said to be an exact replica of the 'moolavar' (presiding deity) in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
The idol of Lord Athivaradharajar in reclining posture, made of Athi (Fig) Wood would be preserved inside a Silver casket and immersed beneath the water on the south side Mandapam of the Ananthasaras Pond on August 17, to be taken out after 40 years. UNI