In the morning of the third day of Pongal (as celebrated at Arunachaleswarar Temple), after giving darshan to the lavishly decorated Temple Nandis, the Gods leave the Temple by the Thitti Vassal gate and later proceed to circumambulate the Temple several times on the mada veedhis (perimeter streets).
The below photographs are of one such circumabulation which occurs in the middle of the day when the Gods stop at the house of the Temple's chief Priest (located on Big Street) to symbolically take lunch and refreshment.
The circumambulation on this day is one of the few times that the Gods on the palanquin (with two priests on each platform), is physically carried by devotees and not pulled by tractor. In fact it is only comparatively recently that tractors are used to pull the Gods on procession, some years previously bullocks were used to pull the Gods on their vahanas.
|The Gods on Big Street on circumambulation of mada veedhi streets|
|The palanquins of the Gods are being physically carried by devotees|
|The Gods are lavishly decorated|
|The Goddess on processional palanquin|
|Musicians accompanying the Gods on their procession|
|Notice the permanent "buffalo" bumps on the man's shoulders from carrying palanquins over the years. Many of the older carriers, because of the immensely heavy palanquins, have such bumps.|
|Gods stop in front of Priest House on Big Street|
|Family and devotees wait outside Priest House|
|Devotees offer clothes to the Gods, which the priests add to the display|
|After each offering of clothes, food, flowers and ornaments the Priest offers aarti|
|The priest comes out of his house to greet the Gods|
|Food is offered to the Gods so they can symbolically take lunch|
|After "symbolically" taking food at the priest house, the Gods continue travelling down Big Street on their way around the Temple perimeter streets|
|Musicians continue accompanying the procession on its several circumambulations of the Temple perimeter streets|
|Throughout the procession devotees make their offerings to the Gods|