28 December 2011

2011 Mahadeepam Photographs

Below are a number of photographs from the 2011 Mahadeepam taken on Arunachala in the afternoon and evening of December 8th, previous to the lighting of the Deepam in the evening, and of the event itself.

The first photograph is taken of devotees clambering up the hill in order to secure a good vantage point for the Deepam lighting. From the town, the lines of devotees climbing up the side of the Hill (usually via the roadway past Virupaksha Cave) look like thousands of tiny little ants.

The next photograph is of Arunachaleswarar Temple and the town of Tiruvannamalai taken from the top of Arunachala.

The next sequence of photographs are of the preparation of the Deepam Cauldron with its ghee-coated cloth wick.

All preparations have been completed and all that remains is to wait for the fall of dusk and the time for the lighting of the Deepam on top of Arunachala.

And finally the time has come for the lighting of the 2011 Mahadeepam on top of Arunachala.

And those on the Hill can look town at the great Arunachaleswarar Temple and its beautiful, brilliant lights celebrating the 2011 Deepam Festival.

The Arunachala Deepam Cauldron remains lit for a specified period of time of between 7 to 13 days. This year, 2011, it was announced in the newspapers that it would be alight for 11 nights.

And so it happened. And on the 12th day, the cauldron was brought back down the Hill for cleaning and storage at the Arunachaleswarar Temple, until the 2012 Karthigai Deepam, where it will be lit on the top of Arunachala on November 27, 2012.


Anonymous said...

That is awesome! Did you actually go up?

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Yes, great photographs. But no I didn't go up. Only dedicated young 'uns need apply for climbing Arunachala on the day of Mahadeepam.The crowds are too huge for me.

The photographs were taken by one of the official photographers assigned to the Big Temple. And very nice too!