After Alangaram and aarti the Gods are carried out of the Kalyana Mandapam eventually leaving the Temple grounds to give darshan at the Alankaram Mandapam outside the Big Temple east side.
|Preparation for Aarti Ceremony|
Thereupon the five Gods (panchamoorthies) on their separate vahanas are pulled by tractor through the perimeter streets (mada veedhis) surrounding Arunachaleswarar Temple.
|Carrying Gods out of Mandapam|
In the evening programme on the 1st day of the 2015 Deepam Festival, the vahana for Lord Arunachaleswarar is the anthropomorphic aspect of Nandi i.e. Nandikesvara. There are two types of Nandi (Nandikeśvara) statues at Siva Temples, the more common is that of the reclining bull (Vrsabha) and the other is that of Adhikara Nandi. In the case of Arunachaleswarara Temple the Adhikara Nandi aspect is in the form of a bull-headed human standing on two legs.
|Panchamoorties at Alankaram Mandapam|
Adhikara Nandi's two back hands hold a parasu (battle axe) and mrga (antelope) and the two front hands are folded on the chest in a pose of obeisance. Since he is the chief of the ganas (retinues) of Siva, exercising his authority (adhikara) over them, he is christened as ‘Adhikara Nandi.’
|Adhikara Nandi vahana for Lord Arunachaleswarar|
There are different accounts as to the origin of this manifestation. Desirous of a son, a sage named Salankayana, propitiated Lord Vishnu and was granted his wish of producing a boy exactly resembling Siva from the right side of his body. He was named Nandikesvara. According to another account, a sage called Nandi obtained the status of Deva and the headship of the ganas of Siva by propitiating him. A third account depicts Adhikara Nandi as emerging from the yagasala (sacrificial shed) of the blind sage Silada, in the form of a young lad resembling Siva, thus bringing ‘nandi’ or joy to him. Therupon the Sage Silada adopted him as his son.