6 October 2014

2014 Karthigai Deepam Panthakal

The below photographs are of the Panthakal Function which was performed this morning (Monday October 6th, 2014) at Arunachaleswarar Temple to mark the official beginning of the rituals and ceremonies preceding the Karthigai Festival (Mahadeepam is Friday, December 5th, 2014). 

As well as blessing the front of the Temple, outside the Raja Gopuram, the priests also blessed the newly renovated Maharadham chariot and other vehicles which will be used during processions in the upcoming 2014 Karthigai Deepam Festival. 


Itinerant Yogi said...

How come the Deepam festivals start so early? Almost 2 mths before the Maha Deepam!

Meenakshi Ammal said...

The Deepam Festival is in itself very long. There are 3 days previous at Durga Amman Temple, then 10 days run up at Arunachaleswarar Temple. Then 3 days of Theepal Functions at the Ayyakulam tank at the Arunagirinathar Temple. After that the flame will stay alight on the Hill (depending on the calculations of the priests) from a minimum of 7 days to a maximum of around 13 days. For the last 2 years the flame has been alight for 13 days on the Hill.

Adding up the above, just the festivities alone last for a possible 29 days -- that is some lengthy Festival!

Panthakal ceremonies precede major Festivals at certain Temples. Their function is to bless and sanctify the entrance to the Temple and any renovation or improvement works that have been done to vehicles/chariots that will be used during the Festival. This year the Big Temple's Maharadham (giant chariot) was blessed in the proceedings as it has recently received extensive renovation.

Why the Panthakal Function was scheduled on that particular date so long before the beginning of Karthigai Deepam . . . I don't know. Next time I meet up with one of the more knowledgeable Arunachaleswarar Temple priests I will get particulars and then post them.