Disposed clothes piling up at Agnitheertham worries tourists

RAMANATHAPURAM: The indiscriminate disposal of clothes by devotees in the sea at Agnitheertham in Rameswaram and the lack of any mechanism to clear them has caused concern among the tourists.

Ritualistic:A heap of clothes thrown by devotees after taking a holy dip at Agnitheertham shore in Rameswaram. — Photo: L. Balachandar

As per the custom and tradition, the devotees, who come to Rameswaram to perform pujas for their ancestors, throw clothes and other items in the sea before or after taking the holy dip.

An approximate estimate shows that around 5000 pilgrims take holy dip in the sea at Agnitheertham everyday, which is just a few meters from Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple. Of them, at least 200 persons throw clothes and puja materials in the shallow areas of the sea as per the instruction by the priests. The clothes, which go down to the bottom of the sea, remain there for many days. They have been hardly cleared by the staff members or agencies concerned.

Devotees complained that whenever they went to take holy bath in the sea near Agnitheertham, they had to touch the abandoned cloths, which they did not want to.

The local people said that though there was a mechanism to remove clothes. It was not being implemented properly. The removed clothes sometimes had been kept on the shore for many days. It was posing an unclean environment in Rameswaram, where a large number of devotees and tourists came from different parts of the country.

They demanded that the officials concerned should devise a plan to remove these clothes on a daily basis. They suggested that a separate area in the sea could be earmarked for putting clothes and others materials so that they could be cleared without much difficulties.


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