22 November 2010

2010 Deepam Lighting

Yesterday evening (Sunday, November 21, 2010) around dusk, approximately 6.05 p.m., the Deepam was lit on top of Arunachala.

Newspaper reports estimate that the number of devotees visiting Arunachala for the lighting of the 2010 Deepam to be around 17 Lakhs (1,700,000). With most of those devotees either viewing from Arunachaleswarar Temple, performing girivalam, climbing the Hill or attending functions at one of the many Ashrams throughout Tiruvannamalai.

This year I decided to take a nice silent Deepam and planned my evening accordingly. So around 5.00 p.m. my six doggies and I walked onto the Samudram Erie, giving a wide berth to the goats and cows grazing in the area, and headed for the spot that would give an excellent darshan of this glorious occasion.

We arrived at our 'spot' with time to spare and enjoyed the day becoming dusk and nearing the joyous moment of the Deepam lighting.

In anticipation of the moment of lighting, we could see and hear fireworks being set off throughout. Even though I was far from the crowds, I could sense a great feeling of excitement and anticipation in the air.

And the time has come, and there on top of our beautiful Arunachala, the light of the 2010 Deepam.

Shouts and cheers punctuated the dusk, and the darkening skies were momentarily lit by the light of numerous fireworks.

In the next photograph as well as fireworks, one can see in the background, the lights of the Arunachaleswarar Temple Gopuram.

And now its getting quite dark, and the Deepam light is bright in the clear skies.

And suddenly the full moon peeps out from a cloud cover, and the picture of the 2010 Arunachala Deepam, is complete.

Blessings of Arunachala Light and Grace to all. Wherever you are , may you receive its light of joyous inspiration.


K said...

Thank you very much.


SG said...

Great Blog Site. Wealth of Information related to Arunachala with excellent photos. May Arunachala Bless You.

Patricia said...

Thankyou for your sharing of Deepam and the lovely clear photos. From over here in Canada I've been watching the web cam of Arunachala since the lighting of the beacon. Is it today that it is extinquished. What time of day do you know?

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Hi Patricia

Was hoping that this year the Temple authorities would arrange live online streaming videos of the functions on Bharani Deepam (December 21). Sadly that did not occur.

Several Tamil Nadu TV channels had great live coverage both inside the Temple and next to the cauldron on the Hill. Maybe next year for the internet.

Anyhow glad you were able to at least get a little satisfaction via webcam.

As to your question re the length of time that the cauldron is alight. Report has it that this year the time will be 11 days. i.e. November 21 to December 1 (inclusive).

Generally the time is around 10 days, but have noticed that one year it was 8 days and a friend tells me that the longest (they recall) is the flame being alight for 15 days.

There is a rumour often repeated that the time the cauldron is alight depends on how much ghee has been donated - this is erroneous -- if it was so, the 2010 flame would be alight for a whole year -- as that much money was donated for ghee this year!

Hope to make a posting in the future regarding the Temple Priests workings of timing and dates etc.

Glad you enjoyed the Deepam reports and photographs.