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Devotee falls to death during ritual walk around hill temple in TN’s Namakkal

The Lord Sanjeevi Rayar Perumal temple is situated atop a 2,400-feet high hill near the border of Namakkal and Triruchirappli districts. The path around it is narrow and steep, looking down at rocky surface, with no safety railings or wall.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2017 21:54 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Man falls to death,Namakkal,Thalamalai temple
T Arumugam (in the blue shirt), an autorickshaw driver from Musiri town in Tiruchirappalli, moments before he slipped and fell from 2,400 feet while finishing his third circumambulation around the temple on Saturday.(Videograb )

A 38-year-old autorickshaw driver died after he fell from a 2,400-feet high hill while undertaking a ritual walk around a temple at Thalaimalai in Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu.

The Lord Sanjeevi Rayar Perumal temple is situated atop a hill near the border of Namakkal and Triruchirappli districts. The path around it is narrow and steep, looking down at rocky surface, with no safety railings or wall.

Although banned, devotees undertake the walk, called Girivalam, believing that the Lord will bless those who complete three rounds of the temple and bestow good luck, prosperity and long life. Hundreds of devotees throng the temple on the auspicious occasion of Purataasi, which falls during September-October.

T Arumugam, the autorickshaw driver from Musiri town in Tiruchirappalli, too was determined to complete the rounds to fulfil a vow, and was moments away from finishing his third round at around 4 pm on Saturday when he slipped and fell.

He tried to hang on to a rock for a while but lost grip and fell further and vanished.

The video of the whole incident was recorded by a fellow devotee.

Fire and police officials, engaged in the search and recovery, found Arumugam’s body after a 14-hour hunt on the hill.

“The body was found around 300 feet below from where Arumugam slipped,” said V Ranjenran, fire officer in Namakkal, adding that bans don’t help as devotees defy them, and hoped that the temple authorities will build a wall around it.

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 20:26 IST