24 April 2018

Night Four: Vasantha Urchavam 2018

Vasantha Urchavam is a ten day Festival depicting the blossoming of love. During this sacred event, Swami and Amman are gorgeously decorated with jewels. They are taken with great ceremony in Mahapradakshina round the sacred Mahila Maram (trees) within the Third Prakaram—ten times every night for ten days = 100 times. 

The third day of Vasantha Urchavam celebrates the birth of Manmatha, also known as Kama the God of love (lust). Manmatha is depicted looking for Siva. 

At 9 p.m. on the fifth and eighth days the Temple lights are switched off so that the procession is in the dark. After going around the sacred Mahila Maram ten times the lights are switched back on to great rejoicing. 

Lord Shiva opens His third eye on the final days of the Festival and the burning of Manmatha takes place. 

During this sacred Festival the Jumbo Keswara Lingam, that is set in stone on the raised platform in the midst of the sacred trees is filled to capacity with water. Plants and flowers are placed to float inside the recess of the Lingam, appearing to make the Lingam levitate and blossom. 

[Extract from The Light of Arunachaleswarar] 

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The below photographs are from last night Monday, 23 April 2018, the Fourth Night of the Vasantha Urchavam Festival.

To those interested in viewing all the days of the Vasantha Urchavam of previous years, please use the "Search Box" function on the left column directly on top of "Arunachala Oracle".

Alangaram of the Gods

The Gods being carried on a palanquin

The procession heading for the Paneer Mandapam, 3rd Prakaram

The Gods in great state housed at the Paneer Mandapam, 3rd Prakaram

On the roof, a Gandarva Kanni doll with a bucket of flowers is attached to pulleys

The Gandharva Kanni (Celestial Nymph) with a bucket of flowers ready to sprinkle on the Gods

The Nymph with flowers

The Lord with the additional flowers from the Celestial Nymph

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