9 December 2011

Maharadham - Big Chariot

To watch a short video of this year's Maharadham procession, check out the below video. Gents pull the chariot from the right, and ladies from the left.

So how does it all work? First off we have the sweet Rukku, the Temple elephant surveying the area. She precedes many of the chariot processions and activities throughout the Deepam Festival.

From early morning, devotees have lined up, in order to enter the top of the Big Chariot, so that they may take darshan of the gods Annamalaiyar and Unnamulai. To reach the Gods, devotees have to climb to the top of a connecting building and cross a tunnel that leads directly into the top of the Big Chariot.

In the below photograph, you can see the yellow building connecting to the Big Chariot and the tunnel corridor leading from one to the other.

Devotees are milling about on Car Street around the chariots. But it will be hours before the Big Chariot is ready to move.

The photographs give one an idea of the vast size of the chariot.The devotees at the top of the chariot with their backs to us, are facing the murtis and taking their darshan.

The massive chains that will be used to pull the vast vehicle are lying on the pavement ahead of the Chariot.

Gents will be pulling the chariot from the right side, and ladies from the left side.

The chariot needs help, specifically when going around corners. So to control the direction of the vehicle, wooden chocs are placed under the massive wheels, and a number of lads and young men, jump up and down on wooden levers.

The levers themselves are heavy, solid planks of wood, so to move them under the wheels, a system of ropes and pulleys has been devised.

Progress around the outside of the 26 acre perimeter of the Arunachaleswarar Temple, is very slow, and it will be late in the night when the Big Chariot has completed its circumambulation of the Big Temple.


Alan said...

Thanks for your wonderful coverage of Deepam. Best on the net.

appu said...

excellent blog.... just keep it up. Great informations...