9 March 2016

2016 Mahashivaratri Pictorial Report

Disappointingly because of work currently underway at Arunachaleswarar Temple in the way of restoration, cleaning and renovations, and according to the Sastras, certain traditions usually observed in these parts during Mahashivaratri, had to be dropped. In this respect the lighting of the 1000 jyothis around the Temple tanks and compound floors did not occur as it was felt that there was a fire hazard with the many flammable materials around the Gopurams and Shrines. 

Also as work is currently underway at the Temple's major Shrines, this year the tradition of the giant salt crystal Kolams on the Temple Compound Floor was also postponed. Happily after the upcoming Mahakumbhabhishekam Function scheduled for June 2016, the traditions of Festivals will once again be observed at Arunachaleswarar Temple. 

Early on March 7, crowds start milling around at Temple Flagstaff

Devotees queuing to enter the Shiva Sannidhi for darshan

Devotees performing puja on "floating lingam" on plinth outside Siva Sannidhi

Although the 1,000 jyothis around the Tanks and Temple floors were not allowed this year, some devotees lighting their individual jyothis near Flagstaff outside the Siva Sannidhi

As the day of March 7 develops into dusk the queues for Lord Siva's darshan extend into the 4th Prakaram 

Dusk descending and the night of Mahashivaratri commences

Cultural program inside the 3rd Prakaram

Varied and inspirational devotional music and singing throughout the night

Young girls performing Bharat Natyam dancing in cultural programme

In evening the Gods on procession giving darshan

Outside Flagstaff at Siva Sannidhi

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