MADURAI, INDIA, November 28. 2012 (by Padmini Sivarajah, TNN): The karthigai deepam was lit on top of the Thiruparankundram hill amid tight security on Tuesday following the recent recovery of explosives from the area. Security was tightened on top of the hill after a bucket full of explosives, including ammonium nitrate, batteries and detonators was discovered near the shrine on November 1. Thiruparankundram is the first abode of Lord Murugan and the festival is one of the most important at the shrine. It began with the flag hoisting on November 19. The deepam was lit in the sanctum sanctorum in the evening after which the mahadeepam was lit on top of the hill. A copper vessel, measuring three-and-a-half feet high and two-and-a-half feet in diameter is carried to the place near the Uchipillaiyar temple on the hill about 150 feet above the shrine and filled with about 300 kg of ghee and a wick made of 150 metres of cloth it is lit using six kg of camphor.
However, the Hindu Munnani has been demanding that the lamp is lit on the ancient lamp post near the Kasiviswanathar temple. On Tuesday, 250 Hindu Munnani members including its state president Arasu Raja and state executive member H Adhisheshan were arrested for attempting to proceed to the Kasiviswanathar temple to light the lamp. The original spot is now a disputed site as it is situated between the Kasiviswanathar temple and a mosque a few hundred feet away. Speaking to TOI, VHP district president 'Chinmaya' Somasundaram said they have evidence to show that the entire hill of Thiruparankundram, belonged to the Subramaniaswamy temple. "This has been mentioned in a book titled 'Madura Country a Manuel' by J H Nelson, who was the then collector of Madurai in 1868," he said. "Even during my childhood days, the lamp was lit on this stone pillar near the Kasiviswanathar temple, which has a 10 feet deep hole to hold the ghee for lightening the lamp. Somasundaram said that they wanted to revive the ancient traditions and planned to hold talks with the RDO and district authorities and get the nod to light the lamp in the designated site next year. Over 500 police personnel including 50 sub-inspectors, 20 inspectors, DSPs Ravichandran and Purushotham led by superintendent of police V Balakrishnan were pressed into service in view of the occasion.