Kumbhabhishekam is a ritual that is believed to homogenize, synergise and unite the mystic powers of the deity. Kumbha means the Head and denotes the Shikhara or Crown of the Temple (usually in the Gopuram) and Abhishekam is ritual bathing (hence the term Kumbha + Abhishekam).
Mahakumbhabhishekam is held either to formally consecrate a new Temple or reconsecrate an old one, and generally occurs at twelve-year intervals or specifically following renovation, extensive cleaning or renewal. In the case of the Pavala Kundru Temple, this ritual was performed after completion of major renovation work. The below photographs are of preparations prior to this Mahakumbhabhishekam.
|Temporary railings installed on side of steps leading to the Hillside Temple|
|Railings extending all the way to the top of the Hillock|
|Devotees climbing to the Temple|
|Preparations outside the Temple's major shrine room|
|Scaffolding around Lord Nandi in preparation of consecration of Vimana on top of Shrine|
|Renovation and painting throughout|
|View of Tiruvannamalai from Temple|
|View of Arunachaleswarar Temple from Pavala Kundru|
|Inside the Yagasala|
Scaffolding around the Vimanas which will be bathed (consecrated) on the final day of ceremonies.
|Pavala Kundru sits on a hillock which is a spur of Arunachala|
To view photographs of the actual Mahakumbhabhishekam ceremony go to this earlier link here.