Low key turnout for 'Sani Peyarchi' festival

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Karaikal, Dec 27 (PTI) A low key turnout due to strict COVID-19 restrictions, was witnessed at the famous shrine of Lord Saturn in Tirunallar in the union territory of Puducherry on Sunday on the occasion of 'Sani Peyarchi' festival.

Devotees entering the temple were scanned with thermometers. They were not allowed to take a holy dip in the temple tank.

The bells of Lord Saneeswara Temple here rang at 5:22 AM amidst 'Maha Deeparadhanai' and special prayers marking the transit of Lord Saturn.

A special abhishekam was held with 27 types of holy material. Lord Saneeswara was placed on a golden crow mount.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Ministers R Kamalakannan and Kandasamy and Madras High Court Judge Velmurugan were among those who participated in the event.

Earlier on Saturday, the government had made the COVID-19 negative certificate mandatory for devotees.

The Madras High Court had ruled that the coronavirus test result was not mandatory, but that temperature scanning should be conducted.

The temple is the only one dedicated to Lord Saturn Saneeswara in the whole of India.

Saturn's transit from one Zodiac sign to another is celebrated as 'Sani peyarchi' festival and is held once in two-and-half years, attracting lakhs of pilgrims from all over the country.

The previousSanipeyarchiwas held in 2017. PTI COR APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR