As earlier directed, the Deepam flame on Arunachala stayed alight for 11 days. The time that the Deepam remains on the Hill depends upon calculations done by priests prior to the Festival and can range from the shortest of 7 days to the longest of 13 days.
To read about the Cauldron going up the Hill, go to this earlier posting at this link here. To find out why Fishermen are the sole custodians of the Cauldron and its lighting go to this link here.
|Deepam cauldron on its way down Arunachala Hill|
|Men from the fishing caste carry the Cauldron down the hill on large bamboo poles|
|Coming close to the bottom of the Hill|
|Getting near the bottom|
|Entering Arunachaleswarar Temple from the North Amman Ammani Gopuram|
|Inside the 4th Prakaram of Arunachaleswarar Temple|
|Devotees reverentially touching the Cauldron for blessings|
|The Deepam Cauldron being carried into the 1000 Pillar Hall in the 5th Prakaram of Arunchaleswarar Temple|
|2016 Arunachala Karthigai Deepam Cauldron after the Festival|
|2016 Arunachala Karthigai Deepam Cauldron before the Festival|
The 2016 Cauldron was lit on December 12, 2016 and remained alight on Arunachala for 11 days. It was brought down to the 1000 Pillar Hall, Arunachaleswarar Temple today Friday, 23 December, 2016.
The cauldron this year was a new one and was constructed in 15 days by 4 men of the Nattar community. It weighs 160kgs is 5 feet in height and has a capacity of a 1000 litres. It is fully made of copper and cost Rs.1.75 Lakhs to create.