3 December 2006

Deepam Eve

Yesterday I made my way homewards tracking down the main thoroughfare, Chengam Road. Here are photographs of Deepam preparations to be held the next day (3rd) when a million pilgrims are expected.

There are always thousands of sadhus and sannyasins visiting or staying at Arunachala at any one time. But for Deepam there is a positive innudation of sadhus coming to Arunachala from all over India.

As well as food for the spirit, there is also plenty of food for the body too! Hundreds of mobile tent kitchens have been set up and also stalls selling favourite eatables are packed around the outer pradakshina pathway.

There is a joyous and jolly atmosphere in the air. Even the packed lorries coming into town with pilgrims from afar are filled with happy, waiving visitors.

Every year during the Deepam Festival, Tiruvannamalai plays host to a large cow and pony fair. During which farmers from all over Tiruvannamalai District bring their working bullocks and ponies for market.

Hawkers of all sorts of bric-a-brac roam the streets on the lookout for customers to purchase their items.

Fruit wallahs wait by the roadside next to their mounds of green coconut, sugarcane and bananas.

The vendors and shop owners are ready. They have planned well. Preparations are complete. Everything is in place. They only await tomorrow and the million expected for the day of Deepam and the lighting of the flame on top of Arunachala.


Divyakka said...

Wonderful photos that convey the color and excitement of the big event!

Arunachala Living said...

It was a great atmosphere the eve of Deepam. Everyone was so happy and relaxed - work done - now sit back and wait for those million pilgrims!