26 November 2007

Episode at Mahadeepam

It is estimated a crowd in excess of a million attended the 2007 Mahadeepam lighting function at Arunachala. However the occasion was not completely without incident.

Just before the lighting of the flame which occurred shortly after 6 p.m. on November 24th, a flame appeared on the Hill directly below the area containing the Deepam cauldron. The flame was so large that some people even thought that it was the Deepam light itself.

Miscreants allegedly set fire to the dry grass on the Hill, a few minutes before the sacred lamp was lit.

Six photo-journalists, who covered the lighting of the Karthigai Mahadeepam on Saturday, found themselves in the midst of a fire which broke out on the hilltop.

One photo-journalist said; “We were scared when the fire encircled us. There was no way of escape for us except to backtrack on our path. Luckily, it changed course. We reached the plains after a lot of difficulty since we missed the path while trying to avoid the fire,” Devotees also faced difficulties due to the fire.

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