Cuddalore: Sunday may have witnessed a Covid-induced lockdown in Tamil Nadu but that did not deter over 90 couples from entering wedlock at a revered Vaishnavite shrine near here on January 23 with the roads outside the Tiruvanthipuram Sri Devanathaswamy Temple playing host to the individuals who tied the knot during the ongoing auspicious Tamil month ‘Thai’.
As many as 91 weddings were solemnized by priests on roads in front of the popular temple in this northern coastal district on Sunday, temple Executive Officer A Veerabathiran and the priests’ association secretary Rathina Sabapathy, told PTI on Monday. The shrine was closed on Sunday as part of the lockdown restrictions.
Places of worship, among others, are closed in the state on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in view of COVID-related curbs, and a shutdown was observed on January 23 as well to tackle the virus spread.
On Sunday, a total of 91 marriages were solemnized on roads abutting the temple, as it was an auspicious ‘Muhurtha naal.’ A total of 110 registrations were made for conducting weddings at the temple in this small town, located about 12 km from the district headquarters. It is a much sought-after temple for conducting marriages, mainly from people in and around Cuddalore as well as other parts of the state.
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The weddings were held between 4.30 AM and 11 AM on Sunday in adherence to ‘muhurtham’ (auspicious time), with the early morning fixtures being known as ‘Brahma Muhurtham.’ Traditionally, conducting weddings in this shrine, dedicated to Lord Vishnu is considered by people as auspicious. Authorities said the temple, one among the 108 ‘Divya Desams’ dedicated to Lord Vishnu, has a hall inside its premises where 40 weddings can be performed at a time and as such there was no bar on holding marriages on days the shrine is open.
According to the official website of the Cuddalore district administration, ”constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam(s) dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Devanathaswamy and his consort Lakshmi as Hemabhujavalli.” On January 23, Tamil Nadu reported 30,580 fresh COVID cases.
Night curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM continues to be implemented in Tamil Nadu. On Sunday, January 9, a complete one-day shutdown was enforced in the state which was the first in 2022 and also during the third wave of the COVID pandemic.