Friday, March 22, 2019

The grand Thirukalyanam takes place

The grand Thirukalyanam took place yesterday at around 8.45 p.m.

Hundreds of devotees gathered in and around the temple rushed near the decorated mandapam when the thali was tied around goddess Karpagambal 's neck.

Later, the flag was lowered. Today, Umamaheshwar dharshanam took place in the morning.

Padam parivizha, the final event of the festival was held this evening.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Seer Varisai for Thirukalyanam taken in a grand procession

This evening, the Seer -Varisai of goddess Karpagambal was taken to Sri Kapali Temple for Thirukalyanam in a grand procession.

The members of Thirumayilai Ulavara Thirupani Kulu Sangam carried them after a pooja at Chellapa Caterers's house in Pitchu Pillai Street, Mylapore.

They have been arranging the seer-varisai for ambal since the past 10 years.

It had a valaipoo (banana flower) kalasam."Usually, coconut is kept over the kalasam. But this is our silver jubilee year. So we thought we should do something different for ambal," says Sainath Prabhu, a member of the Sangam.

Killi jadai, Thirumangalyam, silver kolusu, metti, gold mookuthi, silver poonal for Sri Kapaleeswarar, sarees, blouse materials, alangaram items, varieties of garlands, flowers and fruits were among the seer-varisai given for goddess Karpagambal.

Around 3000 tamboola pai with coconut, banana, betel leaves and nuts, manja kairu (yellow thread),manjal and kumkumam were also present. "After thirukalyanam, these will be distributed to the devotees," he says.

Thirukalyanam took place today at around 8.45 p.m., after which an oonjal sevai took place for Sri Karpagambal and Sri Kapaleeswarar.

Later, after veedi ula a small pooja will take place at the Kodimaram and the kodi (flag) will be brought down by the priests.

Here is a short video of seer-varisai procession.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Videos of the Bhikshanadar ceremony held today evening

Here are two videos of the bhikshanadar ceremony held less than an hour ago. The videos were taken by Anitha Shivakumar, a resident of Abhiramapuram.

Bhikshadanar Vizha to be held today evening

The Bhikshadanar Vizha will be held today evening. This is the only festival in which Sri Kapaleeswarar will be taken in procession without the other deities.

It is believed that women who take bhiksha or beg for alms on this day will have their wishes fulfilled. The alms are then donated to the deity. 

Some great food, given free to people

But the well organised food serving centre was on 
The best organised food service to devotees operation was seen on Mathala Narayan Street - that street that links Kutchery Road and mada streets zone.

The houses where the Narayana Iyer family has resided has been sharing food and drink for over six decades.
His family members now carry on the tradition.
Serving breakfast since 8 a.m. and lunch and tiffin through the day, the family had arranged cooks to prepare food in the open early on Monday. The main cook of well known caterer of Chennai, Chellappa supervised the operations.

The volunteers had erected casuarina poles to create a queue system for the public and the orderly service made life easy for all.
As the nayanmars' procession moved into North Mada Street the queue for food here became lengthy – the evening menu had kesari, brinji, medhu pakoda, channa curry and even pani puri.

The negative side of this operation was of people flinging the leaf plates on the street side, adding to the waste that had mounted here.

Prayers for rain

On arubathumoovar procession after we spent some time perched near the Gandhi statue off the Chitrakulam to get some nice visuals shot on camera for our live relay on FB.
It is also a safer point than points off Rasi Store where the crowd is intense and thick.

Even as two sang hams kept offering delicious buttermilk to people and we had a glass or two, we overheard many women saying that their prayers were to ask for rain.
"We are in for a bad summer. There is no water," explained a woman who had bought some veggies before finding a place to wait for the procession. 

The others around her nodded in agreement.
"We are praying for water," chimed in one woman.

They must have offered that prayer as the gods followed the saints to the pandal close to us. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Vaira Swami joins the Arubathimoovar procession

It is a little past 8.30 p.m. on March 18 and Vaira Swami from Chindratripet has just joined the Arubathimoovar procession. Decked in diamond jewels, he is always accompanied by several police personnel. 

The Mylapore tradition of feeding devotees

This is a Mylapore tradition. One that has been religiously followed by many families during the annual Panguni festival of Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore, Chennai.
To provide food free to devotees at the temple for the grandest and most unique religious event here - the procession of the Saivite saints. 63 of them.
The arubathumoovar.

People stream in since the morning though the procession starts when the day is steaming at 3 p.m.
And many families spend the midnight hours cooking for the devotees. Some cook a few kilos; some huge amounts.
Pongal, kesari, sambhar/curd rice.

The Nataraja Iyer family on Mathala Narayana Street has been offerning annadhanam for decades - perhaps the past 60 years. What started small is now a big affair.

Two evenings ago, one of the grand man's sons ( Iyer had eight children ) invited me into one of the old, old tile-roofed houses to show me the bags of basmati rice, dhal, chillies, bottles of oil and baskets of spice powder were stocked.

Cooks would have started work on Sunday night ( the day of the procession of the grand chariot - thiruther ).
On Monday morning, people will be served pongal/kesari/pakoda and later, brinji/pakoda/chappatis and kurma. Cooks will spill on to the street side and carry on cooking till noon.

And thousands of devotees will be fed.
One hopes people respect the food; many eat parts and toss away the rest and then look for other food donors!

Old world Mylapore gets fossilised in these houses.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ther starts rolling

Thiru Ther started rolling from this morning 7 a.m.

Hundreds of devotees gathered at the East Mada Street, Mylapore from where the procession started.

Students of Natyanjali followed the ther performing classical dance.

Here is a video of Ther making its way through East Mada Street.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

It was the turn of the elephant today

The Yaanai vahanam procession held today night was a colourful one.

But what probably struck out was the way in which the Sri Padam volunteers walked with the heavy vahanam on their shoulders.  And when they moved to the beats of the nadaswaram and tavil, a few devotees who had gathered there skipped and hopped along with them.

The pictures seen here were taken by Vana Narayanan, a resident of Mylapore.