18 December 2006

Madurai Hills

Madurai Hills
Sri Subramaniaswamy Temple Hill

In an earlier post I wrote that it is customary to celebrate Deepam in all Shiva Shrines at the same time that Deepam is celebrated at Arunachala, however the legend for these Siva Shrines is different to that of Arunachala. You can read more about the origins of Deepam on this Blog.

The Deepam festival follows the moon calendar so each year the date is different however it always falls when the star Krittika is in conjunction with the Moon in the month of Karthika (November-December). To find out the dates of upcoming Poornimas (full moons) and Deepams through to the year 2009, please check the following link:

But Deepam is not only celebrated at Siva Shrines in Tamil Nadu. In this respect the Deepam Festival is also celebrated at the famous Subramanian Temple in the Madurai Hills, Tamil Nadu. I am currently trying to get information about the history of the Deepam at this Temple.

But for now I am posting a narrative of the Deepam function celebrated there this year and also a picture of the Temple and its Hill.

"Amidst tight security, thousands of people offered worship as the 'Karthigai Deepam' was lit atop the Tiruparankunram Sri Subramaniaswamy Temple Hill, near the Uchipillayar shrine, at 6 pm today.

Earlier in the morning, hundreds of people participated in the Car festival when the Lord Subramanian and goddess Deivayanai were taken around the Hill. The Deepam festival is part of the Karthigai festival which began on Nov 24th last.

Police had made elaborate security arrangements, and arrested 70 Hindu Munnani volunteers who tried to take out a procession to the Sikander Dargah atop the hill where the ancient Karthigai Deepam mast of the temple was located.

The Hindu Munnani volunteers had been demanding that the Deepam be lit on the original mast. However, as the area was disputed, the Temple Authorities were lighting the Deepam near the Uchipillayar Temple.

Earlier, after special 'Pooja Deepams' were lit in the main temple and all the sub shrines after special poojas. Later, 'Mahadeepam' was lit.

Simultaneously, people living around the Hill illuminated their houses with oil lamps and offered prayers."

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