3 January 2009

Brahma Teertham

New Year in Tamil Nadu is celebrated on April 14th, however there has recently been a push by the political classes to switch the New Year to coincide with Pongal Harvest Festival on January 14th, be that as it may, Tamil Nadu also rather finely celebrates New Year on January 1st. Government run Temples in Tiruvannamalai stayed opened throughout the day in order to accommodate the vast crowd of devotees and pilgrims who wished to take darshan on the auspicious first day of the year.

I visited Arunachaleswarar Temple on January 1st to receive a nice blessing at Siva Sannidhi. However things didn't exactly go according to plan as even though I purchased a Rs.20/- darshan voucher, the crowds were endless and I had to wait for over two hours behind uncomfortable barricades before being able to enter the Sannidhi for darshan. I wish I could say that the two hour wait was fun -- it wasn't -- it was hot and squashed and I became increasingly cross and bad-tempered. Watch out people -- especially queue jumpers -- I'm not in the mood! The whole wait was a war of attrition. But finally it was over and I hobbled limply to the prasad stand to buy myself some quick energy sugar snacks.

On feeling more energetic I made my way to the Brahma Theertham, the tank located in the Fourth Prakaram of Arunachaleswarar Temple. For the last several years both Temple Tank gates, (Brahma Theertham and Sivagangai Theertham) are locked, thus making them inaccessible to visitors. But on New Years Day this year, the gates of the Tank were unlocked and welcoming. So, just like old times, I sat on the edge of the Tank steps with my feet in the water, feeding the fishes with my purchase from the prasad shop.

It was so nice to see people sitting at the edge of the tank, relaxing, enjoying and talking. I didn't miss the opportunity to take some photographs of Brahma Theertham as who knows when the tank will be open again like this.

Its regarded as very auspicious to take a bath in a holy Temple Tank and whilst sitting at the Tank, noticed lots of pilgrims come to the water for a quick splash about.


Anonymous said...

I used to like to feed the Temple Tank fish too.

Eileen said...

Thanks for the pics and narrative! I'm glad you had the opportunity to have a holy New Year at the sacred temples (even if with so much tapas). You did it the correct way, meanwhile I did it the easy way, seeing your pics online from far, far away. ;-)

Meenakshi Ammal said...

I visited the Temple again a few days ago and didn't make the same mistake - this time perched in my favourite spot near the outside of the Shiva Sannidhi and watched the world go by. Very nice it was too.

Anonymous said...

Its great - the water is so clean and there are no plastic bags floating about.