For the last several days, it has been stormy, blustery and very wet. But nothing can dampen the enthusiasm of Lord Arunachaleswarar's devotees. The town has been packed throughout the day with thousands of devotees eager to participate and/or take darshan of the passing Maharadham (giant wooden chariot).
|Devotees milling around at the base of the Maharadham|
|Flower sellers out in force|
|Puja items for devotees wanting to perform worship in front of the Radhams|
|Sugar-Cane, for devotees to complete their vrata (vow) and carry their child on circumambulation|
|Carrying their child in sugar-cane cradles (karumbu thottil)|
|Devotees leaving flowers and offering at base of Maharadham|
|Devotees crowding around the 5 Radhams, one for each of the Gods|
|Lord Arunachaleswarar on the Maharadham|
|Rain falling heavily and the Gods waiting to set off on their circumambulation|
|Radhams are moving, circumambulation of the Temple perimeter streets will take about 10 hours|
|Wonderful darshan of Arunachala, Temple and the Maharadham|
|The massive Maharadham has just turned the corner and is beginning moving up the slope of Thiruvoodal Street|
Rains, storms, delays . . . nothing could curb the enthusiasm of the crowds of devotees and pilgrims attending the Maharadham Festival, on Day 7, of the 2015 Deepam Festival.
Umbrellas proliferated and devotees kept in good cheer throughout the long, tiring day, until late in the evening the five Radhams returned to their designated areas on Car Street.
Ordinarily in the case of pulling the Lord Arunachaleswarar Maharadham, gents are on the left and ladies on the right. As the day progressed with the rain becoming more sheeting, and conditions increasingly unpleasant in pulling the huge chariot, gents took over the duties from the ladies pulling the right side of the chariot.
However the chariot of the Goddess Unnamulai, was exclusively pulled by women and the Radham of Chandikeswarar (steward to the Gods) pulled by youngsters.
|The long, cold, wet day did not undermine the enthusiasm of Devotees|