6 December 2016

2016 Arunachala Karthigai Festival: Day 1. Evening—Athikara Nandi Vahana Preparations

In an earlier post, at this link here, I posted photographs of the evening of Day 1 of the 2016 Karthigai Deepam Festival of the Lord on His Athikara Nandi Vahana. But between the Gods in the Temple and their triumphant procession on the Mada Veedhis of Arunachaleswarar Temple, there are many steps and preparations. Some of which are described in a pictorial report below. 

The panchamoorties receiving aarti in front of the Siva Shrine in Temple

Musicians play traditional Indian Temple music during ceremonies inside the 3rd Prakaram

The unadorned Athikara Nandi Vahana awaits inside the Alankaram Mandapam, outside the Raja Gopuram gate

Sequence here is repeated throughout the Festival. The Lord at right of photographs is being transferred from His palanquin to the Athikara Nandi Vahana

Heavy exertion by young devotees is required to transfer the Lord on His palanquin to the Vahana

Inch by inch the Lord is brought to his Vahana

The God is in position on his Vahana, and the young men slowly disengage the palanquin poles

Bit by bit ornaments, accouterments and lights are added to the Vahana

This whole process takes place in the Alankaram Mandapam and only when all preparations are complete, will the God be brought out to the front of the Mandapam to give darshan

Unadorned Annapakshi (mythological bird) Vahana earlier in the afternoon waits to be transported to the Alankaram Mandapam, where it will be adored as Vahana of the Sakthi Goddess

Goddess on decorated Vahana ready to accompany the Lord on His Athikara Nandi Vahana

The Lord on the Athikara Nandi Vahana now to be moved to the front of the Alankaram where all the panchamoorthies will give darshan to devotees

The panchamoorthies accompanied by stirring music start their circumambulation of the mada veedhis

Devotees watch the start of the procession

1 comment:

Susan Davies said...

Thank you Meenakshi for this amazing detail and coverage of the Deepam Festival. Just wonderful.