At least four people drowned when pilgrims thronged the Tiruvannamalai temple pond for a holy dip early Monday morning. The pilgrims surged towards the temple pond as part of the Mahodhaya Punniya Kalatheeravari, an auspicious day ritual that occurs only once in 30 years.
The district revenue officer said the stampede occurred when a procession was taking the deity towards the temple pond. “We are awaiting for more details. People who died includes the man who carried the deity to the pond,” he said.
Official sources said they failed to estimate the actual number of pilgrims in advance and things went beyond control when the rituals started at around 5 am.
Senior government and police officials have arrived the spot.