18 November 2010

Street Processions

Below a pictorial snapshot of the first few days of 2010 Arunachala Deepam. Most days there are processions in both the morning and evening. To see the Festival schedule click on this link here.

Just to get the party going, a beautifully adorned Ruku, the lovely lady Arunachaleswarar Temple elephant.

Priests and workers in all the Arunachaleswarar Temple shrines are busier than usual maintaining puja implements.

Even though Deepam Festival is going forward nicely, there are still roadworks underway on outlying streets, in preparation for the huge crowds expected for Bharani Deepam on Sunday, November 21.

Certain towns in India were created as a consequence of the presence of a Temple. In the case of Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai initially grew around it in support of the slow development of the massive 26 acre Temple compound. Originally streets surrounding Arunachaleswarar Temple were inhabited by priests, artisans, labourers and tradespeople, all working in the creation and maintenance of the Temple.

Nowadays, the surrounding streets are no longer defined by class, caste and ocupation, however the relevance of processions through town, still play an essential role in maintaining a living relationship with ordinary folk going about their business throughout the day and Temple life.

All the following photographs are of processions that have occurred in this 2010 Deepam Festival, and are all taken OUTSIDE Arunachaleswarar Temple. The photographs are of the Gods circumbulating and giving their darshan around the 26 acre perimeter of the Temple. The radhams (chariots and floats) of the Gods, stop constantly to accept offerings from pilgrims and townfolk.

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